MANHATTAN — Harlem Pride will host a weekend of events leading up to the NYC Pride March, fresh off the excitement of the Supreme Court's ruling against the Defense of Marriage Act earlier in the week.
The annual uptown gay pride festival will feature a VIP Launch Party Friday night and a Harlem Pride Celebration Day on Saturday, and a group from Harlem will walk together in the NYC Pride March in the Village on Sunday.
"People are going to show up with an extra dose of love, an extra dose of pride [after the DOMA ruling] — it's hard to describe," said Robert West, a Harlem Pride board member.
West said the Supreme Court decision, which opens hundreds of federal benefits to thousands of married gay couples in New York and across the country, will be yet another reason to celebrate Harlem Pride.
"It's like getting better news before an already fabulous party," he said.
Harlem Pride's festivities will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. at Aloft Harlem, West 124th Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard. Tickets for the Harlem Pride 2013 VIP Launch Party are $50 and include food, beverages, raffles, auctions and giveaways.
Some items up for auction include vacations to places like Barbados and Antigua, dinner for two at the Harlem Tavern, a pre-released 1.5 liter bottle of Marilyn Merlot wine, a New York Jets autographed team football, a Nook and a Fairway Market gift basket.
The party will also feature live performances by Jessica Betts and will host appearances from politicians and celebrities, West said.
On Saturday, Harlem Pride Celebration Day will be held at Jackie Robinson Park from noon to 6 p.m. It will feature vendors, artists, health care organizations and activities for all ages.
Harlem Pride will also march in the NYC Pride Parade on Sunday. They plan on having a "Harlem Through the Years" theme and encourage those marching to wear fashions from the early 1900s to now.
Chez Josephine Restaurant in Times Square will host Harlem Pride for a post-parade bash at 5 p.m. Sunday. Jean-Claude Baker, son of dancer and actress Josephine Baker, will welcome guests. Red Rooster Harlem will also host a post-parade event on Sunday.
“We are very proud to say that many businesses uptown support the LGBT community,” West said.