If all goes as planned, Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. should be an ubiquitous presence at this year’s DC Black Pride.
“My team and I will be all over the city next weekend,” says DeMarc Hickson, the organization’s executive director.
At last count, Hickson put the total number of DC Black Pride events with some level of involvement from UHU at a dozen, ranging from dance parties to non-club social gatherings — most notably an expanded edition of the UHU’s signature Pride In The Park outing, now renamed Pride Festival In The Park.
Organizers are anticipating record-breaking numbers at this year’s DC Black Pride, to be held over Memorial Day Weekend for the first time since 2019.
“We’re estimating about 30,000 people to be in the city,” Hickson says. Positioned as a chance to “reconnect with family, friends, and community,” the official tagline for the 2022 DC Black Pride is “Bigger. Bolder. The Original Is Back!”
Certainly expected to be bigger and bolder is UHU’s 2022 Pride Festival in the Park, set for Memorial Day, May 30, in Ft. Dupont Park east of the Anacostia River, from 2 to 7 p.m.
Through partnerships, the annual outing has expanded its offerings to encompass both legendary DJs, drag performers, and male models as well as activities including Sip-N-Paint, ax throwing, a bounce house, food trucks, and even an escape room.
The outing will also introduce a “chic brunch” debuting through a new partnership with BET Networks.
On Thursday, May 26, from 4 to 9 p.m., at Mr. Braxton Bar & Kitchen (3632 Georgia Ave. NW), UHU will host a “Welcome To DC Happy Hour Kickback.”
The following evening, May 27, from 5 to 9 p.m., ushers in the official “DC Black Pride commUNITY Opening Reception,” held in the Renaissance Washington, DC Downtown Hotel (999 9th St. NW), this year co-presented by UHU with Impulse Group DC.
“This is the first time that a non-pharmaceutical company, or a non-business, has actually been the presenting sponsor,” Hickson says. “We’re really living by that model, nothing for us without us, and we wanted to be the catalyst for this event.”
On Sunday, May 29, UHU will partner with Coast2Coast Boyz Entertainment for a For The Culture Brunch Cruise on the Potomac for roughly 350 DC Black Pride-going passengers.
“We’ve done a complete buyout of the Odyssey Yacht Boat,” says Hickson. “We’ll board the vessel at 11:30, sail at noon, and have two hours on the Potomac all to ourselves, where we can be our authentic selves, free of judgment and without all the other stressors of life.”
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