Local Flag Raisings Kick Off Pride Month


June kicked off the nation’s celebration of Pride Month, and on Cape Ann, the month will be cohesively celebrated for the first time, organized by the Greater Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce and the Cape Ann Pride Coalition.

Last week, across the area, it was “Cape Ann Pride Weekend,” with the weather more than cooperating to support crowds at more than a dozen events, including a Family Pride Picnic at the Cape Ann Museum’s Green Campus, a tea on the pier at Maritime Gloucester, family bowling, and more.

But the weekend also featured events around Pride that have become traditions on the community calendar after several years.  This included municipal flag raisings in Manchester, Essex, and Gloucester.  On Friday, Gloucester raised the Pride Flag at Gloucester City Hall, and that same day, the town of Essex honored its LGBTQIA+ seniors by raising the Pride Flag at the Essex Senior Center and Council on Aging on Pickering Street. 

On Saturday morning (above) Manchester raised its flag in front of Town Hall, a tradition begun two years ago under the leadership of Hope Watt-Bucci, president of North Short Pride, the organization that sponsors the community event.  She led the ceremony, along with Select Board member Cathy Billota and SB Chair Ann Harrison.  MA Sen. Bruce Tarr (pictured) attended the ceremony.  Two “protestors” held signs that objected to the Pride flag’s message to children.  But families were plentiful at the event, and all were supportive of the day, its message, and the meaning behind the ceremony.