More than 800 people crowded downtown Trenton for the 6th Annual NJ Disability Pride Parade on Friday October 7th. The event, hosted by Alliance Center for Independence (ACI), featured a wide range of entertainers, musicians, comedians, and dancers. Among the performers were: comedian Mike Cotayo, Red Neck Women Dance Troupe, Attach Avi Bollywood Dancers, singer/songwriter Johnny Crescendo and pop singer LACHI. Millie Gonzales and Maria Bournias were the mistresses of ceremonies.
"ACI is proud to organize this awesome event for the past 6 years," says Carole Tonks, ACI Executive Director. "Every year it gets bigger and bigger!"
"Every year it gets bigger and bigger!" - Carole Tonks, ACI Executive Director and chief organizer of NJDPP
The day began with Norm Smith, the Parade Grand Marshal and the Mercer County Special Services School District Drum Line leading a parade of over 100 people from the New Jersey Statehouse to the celebration site.
In addition to the entertainers, participants also enjoyed the talents of bubble artist Eddy Miller, stilt walker Dolly Longlegs, and Sparkee, the Somerset Patriots mascot. Food trucks, a face painter, giveaways and raffles added to the day. Over 30 exhibitors representing for profit, non-profit, and state organizations provided information. The NJ Division of Disability Services, one of the main sponsors of the parade, once again had their popular emergency preparedness pavilion. A big thank you to our Bronze, Silver, Gold and Platinum sponsors: NJ Division on Disability Services, Brownstone Diner and Pancake Factory, NJ Council on Developmental Disabilities, Community Access Unlimited, and Fun Truck'n Mobility.
Coca Cola, Co., Drakes, Herr's Food Inc., Purell, Frito Lay, J & J Snacks and Middlesex Water Company were among the companies that gave contributions.
A big thanks to all the presenters, entertainers, volunteers, and supporters, who gave their time and talents to this day. Thank you to Governor Christie for the proclamation marking October Disability Pride Month, Trenton Mayor Jackson for his welcoming remarks and Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling, who also spoke.