As Pride Month arrives across the world this June, an Ocean County theater troupe is bringing the celebration to Toms River for the second year.

On June 20th, Exit 82 Theatre Company will be hosting Toms River Pride, with a drive-by Pride parade in the morning, followed by online discussions and performances.

In a ceremony earlier this week, officials from local and county government, plus representatives from 3rd District Congressman Andy Kim's office joined event organizers at Town Hall in downtown Toms River to raise a rainbow flag:

As for the June 20th celebration, the drive-by part of the day will start at 11:00 A.M. at Hyers Street & Washington Street in downtown Toms River, with the festivities moving online at 5:00 P.M. that will feature guest speakers, discussions, and performances.

For 2020, organizers are recognizing the 50th anniversary of the first organized Pride events that followed the previous year's Stonewall Riots of 1969.

In a press release, Exit 82 Theatre Company said that this year's event will honor the memory of one of the activists who was instrumental in starting the Pride movement:

Grand Marshal Marsha P. Johnson, the New Jersey-born Black transgender activist who threw the first brick at the Stonewall Riots and was instrumental in organizing the first Pride March in New York City

The release said that a portion of the day's donations will be donated to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, "...whose mission protects and defends the human rights of Black transgender people."

You can get much more information on Toms River Pride 2020 by clicking here for the official event page on Facebook.

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