29th annual PrideFest celebrates LGBT community, diversity of Hampton Roads

Photo Courtesy of WAVY's Marielena Balouris

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – Town Point Park was filled with rainbow flags on Saturday for the 29th annual Hampton Roads PrideFest.

PrideFest is a celebration of the LGBT community and diversity in Hampton Roads. Organizers say it’s a family-friendly event with performances, activities, and even a LGBT walking history tour of Norfolk. Musical group the “Village People” and Martha Wash headlined the festival. Volunteers there say the day is a great way to grow community awareness.

James Hermansen-Parker, who is the former president of Hampton Roads Pride, said, “LGBT communities have faced so many struggles throughout the years, and this shows, it shows the progress we’ve made but it also shows the work we have left to do.”

Something new this year was representatives of law enforcement agencies were on hand offering their support and recruiting new members.

Michael Berlucchi, who is the current Hampton Roads Pride President, said, “That’s something that we really know is going to make our communities and cities more livable. We’re building bridges and we’re making connections and we’re very proud of that. We also have unprecedented levels of military engagement at PrideFest.”

Organizers say they’re expecting about 30-thousand people to attend PrideFest events throughout the weekend.