HALLOWELL — Hallowell Pride Alliance invites you to join us on Saturday, June 3 for this year’s parade and festival. The festival will be held from 12-4 p.m. at Granite City Park. We’re excited to have received so many applications from vendors and non-profits to fill Granite City Park. On the music stage, the celebration welcomes Random Ideas and Super Cat. The parade will liven things up at 2 p.m. down Water Street. Applications for parade participation are still available and can be found on the HPA Facebook page or by emailing hallowellpridefest@gmail.com. 

This year’s Pride theme is “This is ME!” The theme is intended to spark a celebration of the diversity of people and identities among the LGBTQ+ community and across the state of Maine. Organizers encourage participants to bring their most vibrant version of themselves to Hallowell. 

“Maine is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people. This year we want to see all that diversity in living color in our parade and in our downtown,” says HPA President and event organizer Alex AuCoin. “For some participants, the theme might elicit a costume celebrating a non-gender conforming identity, honoring one’s nationality or cultural heritage or simply showcasing that unique individual in their favorite fancy attire.” 

In planning this year’s event, HPA thoughtfully chose to stick with the first weekend in June to be the first organization in the state to kick off Pride Month. ”I’m so excited to have this event here in Hallowell. We have a long history of being accepting of all people, and the Pride celebration continues that tradition. We want everyone of all ages and all identities to feel safe and welcomed here,” said Maureen AuCoin, City Council president and HPA board member.

While Hallowell is home to just about 2,500 people, it has grown to become the third largest celebration in the state, behind Portland and Bangor. Organizers attribute the success to its many volunteers, its vibrant community and the many incredibly supportive area businesses. “As a business owner, Pride is an extra super duper self-confidence boost for many in a community that already supports and protects its LGBTQ+ community. It is a perfect day honoring those who were here before us fighting diligently for our rights and to educate those among us who may not understand our community,” said Bruce Mayo, owner of Easy Street Lounge. 

For more information, to volunteer, or to participate, follow Hallowell Pride Alliance on Facebook or Instagram or email hallowellpridefest@gmail.com.