WILLIAMSBURG — The neighborhood's getting its own gay pride celebration after a group of local business owners decided it was time North Brooklyn hosted one.
In addition to featuring food, music and live entertainment, the North Brooklyn Pride Festival will be raising awareness for LGBT youth who end up homeless because of their identities, organizers said.
The block party will be held on North 11th Street between Wythe and Kent avenues on June 20 from noon to 9 p.m.
"We hope to fill the street with dancing and festivities and awareness," said Paul Samulski, an organizer who also works for the East River Ferry.
"We don't have a Pride Festival here in North Brooklyn, which seems kind of crazy," added Josh Cohn, owner of local businesses Jimmy's Diner and Anella.
"[But] a huge part of this event is to bring awareness of LGBTQ youth foster care and the trials that they face. It's a really big problem. They're always the ones who get the funding cut first."
The block party will partner with Heart Gallery, a nonprofit that helps children in need of housing tell their stories with the assistance of professional photographers.
Information will be available on how to become a foster parent, mentor or adoptive parent to LGBT youth who end up on the street. The event itself will be free.
Sponsors like Brooklyn Roasting Company and Two Boots Pizza will be donating food and non-alcoholic beverages. Brooklyn Bowl will also be offering free bowling lanes, and the venue's entertainment team will book DJs.
A portion of the afternoon, between noon and 3:30 p.m., will be dedicated to more family-friendly entertainment like balloon artists and face painters, while the evening portion will be more of a party, organizers said.
To cover logistical costs, organizers have set up a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of raising $15,000. Anything left over will be donated to the Heart Gallery, organizers said.
The pride event is mostly intended to be a fun way to celebrate diversity in North Brooklyn, they noted.
But they're hoping some will be inspired to get more involved in issues involving LGBT youth.
"I hope we get tons of people to sign up to be mentors or find out how to be foster parents," said Franny Civitano, an organizer with the East River Ferry.