Pride Weekend Ends On A High Note

Crowds arrived early and stayed late to enjoy the day’s activities.

Following the June 25 Pride flag raising at town hall, events honoring the LGBTQ+ community continued on Saturday afternoon on the grounds of Samuel Staples Elementary School with outdoor games, photo ops and live music. The event was scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. but many lingered to hear an extra set by the band, Uncis.

The weekend activities attracted a substantial mix of elected representatives and residents of all ages from Easton and neighboring towns.

Easton Celebrates Pride

Moments of reflection were offered by First Selectman David Bindelglass, Elliot Leonard and Roger Litz, State Rep. Anne Hughes, Elaine O’Keefe and Jillian Celentano.

First Selectman David Bindelglass returned to the podium after having led the Pride flag raising ceremony on Friday.

Bindelglass urged the receptive audience to continue to support of Easton’s embrace of the Pride community and congratulated the organizers of the event. Hughes also lauded Easton’s efforts at inclusion and unity.

Rep. Anne Hughes voiced her support and stressed the importance of being a welcoming place for the Pride community.

Leonard and Litz added personal recollections and urged everyone to live an authentic life. Quoting Oscar Wilde, Litz said, “Be yourself; everyone else is taken.” More information about the Leonard-Litz Foundation is available at:

Long time partners Elliott Leonard (L) and Roger Litz offered heartfelt memories at the Celebrate Pride event and posed in the popular Carlucci VW van.
Health Advocate Elaine O’Keefe added gravitas to the day when she talked about the AIDS epidemic.

Elaine O’Keefe, Public Health Advisor and Advocate spoke movingly about the 40th anniversary of the first case of AIDS in the United States and led a moment of silence in remembrance.

Author Jillian Celentano spoke about her upcoming book, “Transitioning Later in Life: A Personal Guide'” which will be available on Amazon in August. For more information:

Jillian Celentano spoke about her transition at age 55 adding personal and meaningful dimension to the day’s events.

There was lots of live music. Performers throughout the afternoon included: Dan Carlucci, Whendi Cook Broderick & Dan Broderick of Dexter, and Uncis.

Whendi Cook Broderick joined by husband Dan Broderick energized the crowd with their music.

For young readers, Easton Public Library Director, Lynn Zaffino assembled a range of Pride friendly books and answered kids’ questions alongside her daughter, Michaela.

Courtesy of the Easton Library, Director Lynn Zaffino offered a range of children’s reading materials. Her daughter, Michaela joined her.

The Easton Volunteer Fire Department created a refreshing mini-water park which delighted the youngest celebrants.

The Easton Volunteer Fire department added the perfect cooler for the many kids who attended the event.

Other organizations that participated in the day’s festivities included: The Easton Arts Center, Triangle Community Center, The Leonard-Litz Foundation, Greiser’s Cafe and Market, Balloon Whimzy and Tele Bus.

One of the most popular destinations of the afternoon was the photo booth fashioned for the occasion in front of the Carlucci’s vintage VW Telabus.

David Bindelglass and Bob Lessler pose at the Carlucci’s cool vintage VW van.

Pride Concert on the Hill At Christ Church

Already a popular venue for Sunday night summer musical performances, the Pride concert drew a large multi-generational crowd. Groups of kids frolicked on the church grounds while the packed tent of music lovers and Pride supporters clapped and sang along to the Amber Anchors, Dan Tressler and Jeff Smith.

Dan Tressler and Jeff Smith wowed the crowd with fan favorites, including two Dylan songs.
Tressler and Smith were joined by Dan Carlucci in several rousing numbers.
Dan Tressler and Jeff Smith of Amber Anchors played a nearly 2-hour set to the delight of the audience.
Sunday night’s Pride concert at Christ Church packed the tent and the hillside.
The warm evening’s concert was a hit with (l to r) Benita Cebulski, Phyllis and John Machledt and Chet Cebulski.
Concert goers also enjoyed meals and snacks provided by on-site food trucks.
Anne Fritz Linval and Adrienne Burke, owner of Greiser’s Cafe and Market grooved to the Amber Anchors.
The concert brought together kids of all ages.

A special appearance by one of Blue Button Farm’s new baby goats, Nutmeg, added a special kick to the proceedings. Holly and Dennis Pryor encouraged the crowd to hold and snuggle Nutmeg and to no one’s surprise there were many takers. The Nutmeg raffle tickets netted both the church and the winner $108 each.

Holding “Nutmeg” one of Dennis and Holly Pryor’s baby goats was a crowd pleaser.

Photos-Easton Pride Planning Committee and Jane Paley