This year, Somerville is kicking off Pride Month with a brand-new event you won’t want to miss: a Big Gay Dance Party.
The free event from the Somerville Arts Council and the Somerville LGBTQ Community Liaison will bring glitz and glitter to the Union Square Plaza from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on June 3, with music from host DJ Dee Diggs.
Somerville Arts Council Special Events Manager Nina Eichner explains that in the past, the only city event commemorating Pride Month has been the flag raising at City Hall. That’s an important event, to be sure, and it’s still happening—this year’s flag raising will be held on June 1 at 2:45 p.m. But she and the rest of the Arts Council staff wanted to do something that felt a little more like a celebration for the city’s vibrant LGBTQ community and its allies.
“It would be great if all those people didn’t have to go to Boston to do things … It feels important to me that LGBTQ people living here don’t have to go elsewhere for everything,” Eichner says.
While there are a number of queer-friendly pop-up shows, theater productions and more in the city—Somerville is the home of The Slutcracker, after all—she says it’s necessary to take that one step further with a city-sponsored bash showing that LGBTQ residents are a priority. “[Mayor Curtatone] has done that a lot recently, with sanctuary cities, with Black Lives Matter,” Eichner says. “I think this is a good addition in terms of having events and festivals for different, diverse communities.” In fact, you may even get a chance to cut a rug with the mayor, who Eichner says is planning to attend the inaugural Big Gay Dance Party.
People of all ages are encouraged to come celebrate, and while no alcohol will be served at the dance party itself, its location in Union Square Plaza is conveniently adjacent to plenty of bars and restaurants. There will be a photo booth from Party On Productions, plus free HIV and STD screening and counseling in the Somerville Media Center building.
And you can still celebrate Pride across the river if you want; the event takes place the weekend before Boston’s Pride Parade.
Oh, and you’ll want to bust out your sparkliest, sequined clothing—while you don’t have to dress up for the “glitter, rainbow, space-themed” party, funky, fun outfits are encouraged.
Will Eichner be attending in her finest interstellar attire?
“I will wear something festive and work appropriate,” she laughs. “Whatever that means.”
The Big Gay Dance Party is scheduled for Saturday, June 3, at 5:30 p.m. in the Union Square Plaza. More information is available on Facebook.