Last summer, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, city officials canceled all city-permitted parades and festivals taking place outdoors through Labor Day 2020. The move was aimed at curbing the gathering of large crowds and keeping up social distancing throughout the summer months amid the pandemic.
The city’s regulations last year forced the Eastie Pride Day Committee to cancel, for the first time in three decades, the annual August festival that draws thousands to Piers Park for a daylong family friendly celebration.
Eastie Pride Day has become a summer tradition for many families for over 30 years. Each year in August the neighborhood celebrates Eastie’s diverse culture, rich history, and community pride.
Now, with the neighborhood coming out of the darkness of the pandemic, the committee will once again foster Eastie pride, uplift one another, and support our beloved community.
This week the Eastie Pride Day Committee announced that it will host the 32nd annual celebration of the neighborhood on Saturday, August 21 in a new, COVID-19 safe way
According to Chair of the Eastie Pride Day Committee, Liana LaMattina, who took over the reins from her father and Eastie Pride Day founder, Sal LaMattina, the event is typically a day of food, children’s activities, and contests at Piers Park. However, the Committee has formed a new way to celebrate the community in a safe, COVID-19 conscious way.
This year’s Eastie Pride Day will center on encouraging the community to support the resilient local businesses, restaurants, and organizations. The participating organizations and additional updates on this year’s event will be found on the Eastie Pride Day website at https://www.EastiePrideDay.com/.
“COVID-19 heavily impacted our community, especially as East Boston had one of the highest levels of positive cases in Massachusetts,” said LaMattina. “This is why we thought it was crucial to encourage the neighborhood to support the local businesses as they recover from the past year and a half. This year’s event will be a fun, collaborative day of celebrating community organizations and restaurants that have been cornerstones of East Boston. While we will not be gathering at Piers Park this year, August 21st will be a day to showcase Eastie pride by joining our neighbors in supporting the resilient local businesses in our community and learning about the many wonderful organizations that call Eastie home. ”
Eastie Pride Day was founded in 1989 by former Boston City Councilor Sal LaMattina as a summer block party and community celebration to bring Eastie residents closer together.
So, on a hot summer night at East Boston Memorial Stadium that year the first Eastie Pride Day was held.
“When we planned the first Eastie Pride Day we thought that would be it,” said Sal LaMattina. “Have everyone come down, show off their Eastie Pride and it will be over.”
But the success of the very first East Pride Day was all LaMattina and longtime organizers like Larry and Carol Smith and the late Anthony Albano needed to keep it going.
Now the younger generation of community leaders like his daughter, Liana, her fiancé, Angel Rodriguez, and Rep. Adrian Madaro is keeping something that LaMattina has held very dear to his heart going for a whole new generation to enjoy.
If you have questions or would like to get involved with the Eastie Pride Day’s celebration this year, please contact the committee at [email protected] To stay up to date on this year’s Eastie Pride Day and future announcements, follow Eastie Pride Day on Facebook and on Instagram at @EastiePrideDay, or visit their website at www.EastiePrideDay.com.