Organizers of Portland Pride, Maine’s largest LGBTQ Pride celebration, announced last week that for the second year in a row, the parade, festival and other in-person events would not be held, citing continuing high levels of COVID-19 cases in southern Maine.
That’s despite the fact that Gov. Janet Mills announced last Thursday that all capacity limits on both indoor and outdoor gatherings have been lifted, and physical distancing requirements are also lifted except in indoor eating and drinking establishments.
Organizers in Portland said they would plan to offer some virtual events as part of the Pride Across Maine initiative, which was held last year as all large gatherings were canceled because of the pandemic.
“Although we may not be able to gather in person, Pride Portland and several other pride organizations throughout the state of Maine are brainstorming ways for all of us to celebrate and to show our pride at smaller events throughout the state,” organizers said in a Facebook post.
Other Pride celebrations in Maine are still set to happen in person, however, including several unique events planned for June in both Bangor and Bar Harbor that will allow for physical distancing.
Bar Harbor’s Pride festival is set for June 11-13, and will kick off with an outdoor drag show at 5:30 p.m. Friday, June 11, at Fogtown Brewing in Ellsworth. It will continue onto Saturday with a morning dog walk around Witch Hole Pond in Acadia National Park, and a festival from 1 to 6 p.m. in the parking lot of Bar Harbor Congregational Church. On Sunday, there will be an event in Bar Harbor for LGBTQ youth.
In Bangor, the annual Pride parade will be held on Saturday, June 26. Instead of the customary parade down Main Street, however, a “stationary” parade will be held at Bass Park, at the Hollywood Casino Racetrack. Parade-goers can drive around the racetrack to see each stationary float, instead of all gathering in a large crowd along the sidewalk.
L/A Pride, which organizes the Pride celebration in Lewiston and Auburn, announced on its Facebook page on Thursday that it would be postponing its event to a to-be-determined date later in the year.