Rainy weather on June 10 didn’t wash away the spirits of the hundreds who gathered in Center City to celebrate the 30th annual Philadelphia Pride Parade and Festival.
The streets and subway stations were crawling with people wearing rainbow-colored apparel, including tie-dye patterns and the new color-drip trend. The parade began at 13th and Locust streets, making its way to Penn’s Landing, where a festival was set up. Though the parade was free, entrance into the festival required a $15 wristband.
During the parade, spectators in rainbow outfits watched and welcomed the thousands marching for LGBTQ rights and acceptance. Various companies and organizations handed out promotional products throughout the 1.3-mile walk.
During the festival, the same sponsors and companies — some of which were lucky enough to be under tents — laid out their promotional wares on tables, with attendees grabbing as many freebies as they could. Outside, the line entering the festival grew longer by the hour.
As the rain poured stronger, people hopped from tent to tent for cover, allowing them to browse and take some of the promotional products on display, which included PopSockets, keychains, pins, bracelets, cups, sunglasses, fans, pens, first-aid kits and more. The most crowded booth, however, was Metro PCS, which capitalized on the bad weather by giving out branded ponchos.
Though it was tucked away in a corner, the Metro PCS booth attracted crowds, and its promotional ponchos ran out by the second hour of the festival. The wireless company’s strategy worked, because the festival was soon filled with attendees wearing its logoed raingear, prompting soaked attendees to seek out the booth, in hopes of getting their own relief from the rain.
Open Urban Training (OUT), a Philadelphia-based fitness group for the LGBTQ+ community and allies, braved the rain without a tent to sell T-shirts with its logo and a “LOVE” shirt printed by New Jersey-based Red Dog Design (asi/305674).
“Everyone’s welcome to join, and it’s free,” said Joshua Eloy Munoz, founder of the group. “We do a lot of fundraising and community involvement.”
Health Partners Plans also added some color to the event with a variety of products and a tent full of employees and volunteers wearing bright rainbow-colored tie-dye tees. Penn Medicine was also present to provide unique promotional products such as bubbles, sticky notes and breath mints, sourced by As You Wish Promotions (asi/125450).
Banks such as Capital One, Discover Financial Services and Chase Bank were also present. Chase Bank gave out cups, lip balms, blue micro pig keychains, sunglasses and water bottles. Discover handed out rainbow-colored cups, fans and can coolers. Capital One gave out rainbow-colored sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm and PopSockets.
Beverage sponsors including Absolut Vodka, Coors, Blue Moon and Corona sold alcoholic beverages in branded plastic cups. Barefoot Wine gave out rainbow-beaded necklaces, featuring its logo on a plastic pendant, to help attendees get into the spirit of the event.
By the end of the parade and festival, nearly all the promotional products had been wiped out. Despite the gray and gloomy weather, the party went on and people were filled with pride and joy.