The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network has announced sweeping plans for Pride Month in June 2023.

This includes major outdoor events in New Bedford and Taunton for the sixth annual Pride Festival, as well as weekly activities designed to celebrate the South Coast LGBTQ+ community.

The South Coast LGBTQ+ Network is a nonprofit advocating for LGBTQ+ residents of all ages.

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A marquee event will take place on Saturday, June 3, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in New Bedford. A Pride Wellness Walk is set for 9 a.m. and Pride Yoga at 10. On Saturday, June 10, noon to 5 p.m., at Hopewell Park, Taunton will host its signature Pride Festival, with yoga in the park at 11 a.m.

What's it all about?

“Just bringing the community together," South Coast LGBTQ+ Network Events Committee Chairperson Traci Welch said. "I steal a quote from Jeff Costa, our yoga guru, ‘Interconnectedness.’ It just brings people out, brings people together. You get to see drag performances, you get to see live singers.

"Last year, I’m so proud of this, I started a thing where we have a half-hour of coming-out stories. So that’s something I’m looking forward to this year and hopefully, we’ll be able to tape it. Having people able to feel it's a safe place and sharing the coming-out stories that day, I’m excited to have that back as well.”

On Thursday, June 1, at 6 p.m., a fundraising gala is set at Round the Bend Farm in Dartmouth, entitled Midsummer in the Woods. This will benefit the construction of the future South Coast LGBTQ+ Community Center. It's inspired by the work of William Shakespeare and will feature an evening of cocktails, dinner and live entertainment.

This year, there will also be a giant mural of a butterfly on sight. You can pay to get your photo taken in front of it and the all proceeds will help fund the network.

Tickets for Midsummer in the Woods are available here.

A wide range of activities for LGBTQ+ individuals, families, and allies will be available throughout the entire month, with a focus on art, culture, health and wellness and local businesses. Partnerships with the AHA! New Bedford, Gallery X of New Bedford, and many others will extend the reach throughout the entire community.

“I just want people to come out and enjoy themselves," Welch said. "Enjoy the day, enjoy the moment because all our moments aren’t guaranteed.”

A 21-plus after-party is scheduled at Le Place, 20 Kenyon St., from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m., with DJ Nicole Lopes.

More information is available at SouthCoastPride2023.

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