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CNY Pride emphasizes safety ahead of festival and parade

City of Syracuse

Central New York Pride organizers are excited to see the public fill the Syracuse Inner Harbor this Saturday for the first in-person festival and parade since 2019. However, security threats at a similar event in Northern Idaho earlier this month also have officials emphasizing safety.

Idaho officials arrested about 30 people for plans to riot at a local Pride event. CNY Pride’s Kosakowski said the incident does have the group on alert, but the event will go on. He said they’re working with volunteers, private security and the Syracuse Police Department to keep people safe.

"You will have people around you that are watching out for you, that are caring for you, supporting you and uplifting you. And that's really what this is all about."

Officers will also be scouring social media to monitor for any direct threats. Syracuse Lieutenant Matthew Malinowski said everyone can play a role by alerting police if they spot something concerning.

"A lot of time people seem hesitant to call the police because they feel like they will be wasting our time, but IT'S completely the opposite. If you see something suspicious, calling 911 right away, we have officers there, we can prevent something from happening."

And that’s exactly what happened in Northern Idaho—a bystander reported what turned out to be a group with white nationalists ties near the Pride event. But in wake of the incident, local organizers want people to remember that Pride has always been about resistance.

"The first Pride was a riot that we came here together to you know find community, to find space, to push back against what the world says we shouldn't be doing. and with any level of resistance, there's always going to be a little bit of a shake up that's going to happen."

The parade will start at 11 am and the festival follows at noon.