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First Pride festival coming to Berwick

June is Pride Month, a time to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Berwick is doing that this weekend by holding its first Pride event.

BERWICK, Pa. — The Intoxicology Department is decked out in rainbow flags, as this bar in Berwick will be the place to be this weekend for the community's first-ever Pride event. Bar Owner Lauren Hess says this is something she's been wanting to do for years.

"I have a lot of friends, family in the community. I have watched them struggle and go through a lot of hatred that they don't deserve," Hess said.

Hess joined forces with Columbia-Montour Pride Co-Chair Jacob Kelley to organize Berwick Pride Fest. Kelley grew up in Berwick and believes there is a need for a Pride event in this community.

"Not just be tolerated of or have tolerance to the LGBTQ community, but be accepting of them, be inclusive of them and respect them," Kelley said.

Saturday's event will feature more than 30 vendors, live music, karaoke, and more.  

"We're going to be doing these really fun cups. So we're going to fill them with drinks, either alcoholic or non-alcoholic. We're going to sell them for $10, and $2 of that will go to the Columbia-Montour Pride," Hess said.

While the event is at a bar, people of all ages are invited to attend.

In fact, people 18 and under get in for free. Kelley and Hess encourage children and teens to attend.

"Just knowing you can be who you want to be no matter the rural or small town. You don't have to go somewhere large to a big city, and the youth are really the ones to see that and need to see that to know they can grow up and know they are allowed to be here," Kelley said.

"We want to make sure they know that they're supported by a place in the community where they can come and be themselves," Hess said.

Berwick Pride Fest is this Saturday from 12-8 at the Intoxicology Department, which is on West 2nd Street. It's $5 for a wristband, ages 18 and under get in free. 

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