The Pride Center of Baltimore is celebrating its annual parade and festival, now in its 44th year, June 15-26. Last year about 30,000 attended the events.
The year’s theme is “Unity through Diversity: The Remix” and organizers say it signifies the “transformation of fears into empowerment while embracing community in a fight for justice and the right to live authentically.”
The Pride Center’s board of directors recognize the difficulties faced by the transgender community this year, stating on their website, “We will not stand with those who attempt to divide, demean or threaten (our) values.”
Official Pride events directly benefit the center and will help fund more than 40 programs that serve around 800 sexual and gender minority individuals every month in Baltimore.
The center’s annual benefit evening Twilight on the Terrace is on Friday, June 14 at Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art Sculpture Garden from 7-11 p.m. Each year the event provides attendees with a night of food, fun and socialization to mark the commencement of Baltimore Pride weekend. Guests can dance, eat and drink craft cocktails from Gertrude’s and Hendrick’s Gin.
This year’s entertainment features a special performance by opera singer Carmelita B. featuring Septimius the Great. Attendees will also have the opportunity to participate in a silent auction to bid on several Am Fund-sponsored vacation packages. Tickets are $125 on Eventbrite.
The Rainbow Lot, the official Pride tailgating party, will be open from 11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. behind Graffiti Alley (1915 N. Howard St.). Food trucks such as Jurassic Pork and Kona Ice will be stationed. The cost is $25 for one space for one car with two people, or for one tailgating tent space. There is a $5 fee for each additional person. Tickets are on Eventbrite.
The Pride Parade is Saturday, June 15 from 1-3 p.m. The parade begins at N. Charles and 33rd streets next to Wyman Park, proceeds 11 blocks and ends at N. Charles and 23rd St. There is a viewing stage on the corner of N. Charles St. and 24th St. in the Brown Rice Parking Lot.
Following the parade, the Pride Block Party begins at 4 p.m. at Station North, with a pre-show at 1:30 p.m. featuring local artists and a DJ dance stage at 22nd and N. Charles. Also, for the first time, Pride will host a mini Pet Parade beginning at 1 p.m. between 24th-25th and N. Charles.
The parade will also feature a high-heel race where contestants can compete in heels at least two inches high. The fun begins at 12:30 p.m. at 25th and N. Charles.
The Pride Festival is Sunday, June 16 from noon-6 p.m. in Druid Hill Park (between Swann Drive and Sundial Pavilion). The festival will celebrate families and children with a kid-friendly atmosphere including music and entertainment stages, a Drag Stage, exhibitors and local food trucks.
For more information visit baltimorepride.org.