Boston Pride and the City of Boston partner to give Pride Lights a makeover in 2019 with a new venue, Blackstone Square Park, and format. Born out of a desire to commemorate our community’s early departed, Pride Lights initially saw the AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts sell pink candlelights to neighbors and businesses, who would place them at their windows in remembrance. Later, various locations, such as the Boston Center for the Arts Plaza on Tremont Street and Club Café on Columbus Avenue, would host a dedicated community event with the ceremonial illumination of one or more trees in purple or pink lights. The program would feature entertainers and artistic displays and acts by queer performers.
On June 4, Pride Lights returns to its roots with a direct engagement of the community. Strings of pink lights will be available for purchase by attendees, so they can dress the windows of their homes throughout the city. Verna Turbulence will officiate the speaking program, with a focus on HIV awareness, education, and prevention. Attendees will connect with various local organizations at resource tables in the park. A live show produced by members of the drag community will bring the evening toward its pinnacle, at dusk, when the “flipping of the switch” will light up the whole park in pink. •
Pride Lights is an evening of memory and hope that centers on those affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and those who are no longer with us. Credit: Boston Pride.