Despite some vocal opposition, the borough of Fairlawn will hold a pride festival this weekend.

While some residents objected to a block party being held on Sunday, June 26, the biggest controversy was over the Drag Queen Story Hour.

The activity is intended to promote literacy and inclusion and involves children being read to by a drag queen.

Fairlawn Mayor Kurt Peluso says they are prepared for possible protests from conservative groups, but told the pride festival will be held "100% as planned."

Controversy over the Drag Queen Story Hour (DQSH) is not new. The organization has been around since at least 2017, according to their Facebook page, and the popularity of their events have grown. Most often, they host story hours in public libraries and at festivals.

Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour
Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour
Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour
Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour
Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour
Facebook/Drag Queen Story Hour

On their website, DQSH describes what they do: "DQSH captures the imagination and play of the gender fluidity of childhood and gives kids glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. In spaces like this, kids are able to see people who defy rigid gender restrictions and imagine a world where people can present as they wish, where dress up is real."

The Fairlawn Pride Block Party will be held Sunday, June 26 from 12:30-4:30 p.m. outside the Fair Lawn Municipal Building on Parmelee Ave.

According to the event website, it will include:

  • LGBTQ+ Community Resource Fair
  • Arts and Crafts with the Fair Lawn Arts Council
  • Opening /Closing Ceremonies with Speakers and Music
  • Drag Queen Story Time & Bingo Brunch
  • Fair Lawn Pride Chorus

An RSVP is requested, but not required. All events are free.

Eric Scott is the senior political director and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at

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