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PPS to Join in Pride Parade June 17

As an inclusive, welcoming school district, the Portland Public Schools will participate in the Pride Portland! Parade on Saturday, June 17.

“As has become our tradition, the Portland Public Schools will join in the parade to celebrate our LGBTQ+ staff, students, families and other partners and all their contributions to our schools and community,” said Interim Co-Superintendents Melea Nalli and Aaron Townsend. “Unfortunately, there have been an unprecedented number of bills targeting LGTBQ+ rights throughout the U.S. this year. It is important that our district participates to reiterate our commitment to supporting our PPS LGBTQ+ community.  We will once again have a float entry in the parade – a yellow school bus! – and we invite staff, students, families and other supporters to join us in marching.”

Except for a two-year gap when the parade wasn’t held during COVID, the Portland Public Schools has participated in the event every year since 2015. Its yellow school bus float is a previous best-themed float winner.

The Pride Portland! Parade is an annual event that celebrates inclusivity, diversity and unity. This year’s event begins at 1 p.m. at Monument Square. Portland Public Schools students, staff, families, Board of Public Education members, friends and other supporters are invited to arrive around noon at the PPS staging area (on Brown Street, a side street near Monument Square – just look for the yellow school bus!) to help decorate the float and line up to march or ride in the bus.

From Monument Square, the route proceeds down Congress Street to Congress Square, then goes down High Street to Park Avenue before entering Deering Oaks Park. A Pride Festival will take place in the park from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more.

The district’s participation in the parade sends an important message to our students, staff, families and the community that the district works to foster understanding, empathy and inclusion and that it welcomes and values everyone in the Portland Public Schools.

WHAT: Portland Public Schools participates in Pride Portland! Parade 2023

WHEN: Saturday, June 17. Parade starts at 1 p.m. Participants can arrive anytime after noon at the PPS staging area on Brown Street. Look for the yellow school bus!

WHERE:  Parade begins at Monument Square and ends at Deering Oaks Park 

WHO:  Members of the Portland Public Schools family – students, staff, PPS families, Board of Public Education members and other supporters – are invited to march along with the district’s float.

The Portland Public Schools is Maine’s largest school district, with approximately 6,500 students, and is also the most diverse. About one-third of the district’s students come from homes where languages other than English are spoken—a total of more than 50 languages. 49.8 percent of the district’s students are white and 50.2 percent are students of color. Approximately half of PPS students qualify for free or reduced-price school meals