Southington PRIDE continues with a chalk art contest at SoCCA

SOUTHINGTON — With a high chance of rain forecasted for Sunday, the chalk art contest was spared as the weather held out long enough for participants.

Adults and children of all ages gathered at the Southington Community Cultural Arts Center from 9 to 11 a.m. as part of the second annual Southington PRIDE celebration and to help raise money for the center.

Events for the Southington PRIDE celebration started earlier this month with a Transgender 101 discussion at the Southington Library. Other events already held this month included a Pride Drag Extravaganza at the New England Carousel Museum and a Mother's Day Drag Queen Bingo Brunch at Witchdoctor Brewing Company.

On Friday, SoCCA held a teen social, where teens could participate in art and theater activities, crafts, games and a dance. About 25 teens participated.

“James Brunelle and Jolene from the YMCA came up with the idea of the chalk art, so people signed up and came down here,” said SoCCA director Diann Thomson. “The rain ended up not happening. It started right at the beginning but then went away.”

About 10 people signed up for the chalk art contest. Brunelle was inspired by social media to use a shading technique.

John Formeister and his daughters, Lexi and Chatham, worked on two separate projects.

“We heard about this on Facebook and thought it was a great event,” the Southington resident said. “My daughters are involved in art and enjoy doing it all around the house.”

Formeister added they decided to come down because it was a beautiful day to get the family out. Afterward, his daughters would be going to a birthday party.

Lexi Formeister won the contest, with Donna Brouillard finishing second and Madison Hendricks p

On Saturday, a Youth & Family PRIDE festival was held at the YMCA’s Camp Sloper Outdoor Center.

At the festival, youth and families could participate in various activities, including basketball and field games, a climbing wall, a trike race track, a giant green slide, a playscape and a ninja warrior course.

In the late afternoon, a Drag Queen Story House was held. The Drag Queen read four books that highlighted LGBTQ+ families, diverse communities, individuals with special needss, and mental health.

After the festival ended, participating restaurants offered family meal specials for PRIDE 2022.

The festival was hosted by Southington PRIDE, a non-profit organization working to promote diversity, equity and inclusion. 

Reach Reporter Nicole Zappone at


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