Rainbow flags, stickers, shirts and tutus were just some of the vibrant and fun attire seen along Carroll Creek Linear Park Saturday at Frederick’s eighth annual Pride Fest.

Music blared, people danced, drag queens performed and everyone, young or old, felt included.

With dozens of vendors and thousands of people lining the creek, Frederick Pride mimicked a party where everyone is invited and accepted for who they are.

“There is so many variations of LGBTQ people out there that what it comes down to is that people aren’t alone,” said Kris Fair, chair of The Frederick Center, an organization that advocates for and supports the local LGBTQ community “It helps people feel more confident and comfortable living in their community knowing that there’s other people who are just like that.”

Fair pointed out that the best thing to love about Pride is that it’s a space where LGBTQ folks and allies can gather and celebrate the culture and history of LGBT people.

People in the LGBTQ community intersect every facet of people’s lives in the country. In years past, Fair said people would come up to him and say they felt empowered and stronger about themselves after the fest.

“We are artistic folks, we work in businesses, we work in blue collar jobs and white collar jobs,” he said. “The point is that we are here, and there are a lot of us. We are really proud to be part of a larger conversation of how to build a more connected and affirming community.”

Before some performances, community leaders spoke in support of the LGTBQ community, like County Executive Jan Gardner and Rick Weldon, president and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce.

Gardner declared June 22 Pride Day in Frederick. Weldon spoke to the crowd and said no matter what segment, private, public or nonprofit, one thing that is needed throughout the community is more love.

“Until we develop respect for one another and celebrate love for each other, we can’t achieve our collective best as a community,” he said.

He thanked the LGBTQ community and its allies for helping make Frederick County a place where love replaces intolerance and understanding replaces ignorance.

Two friends, Maryann Cockrell and Danielle Lewis, both of Frederick, came to Pride Fest wearing rainbow flags as capes and other rainbow accessories to show their support and love for the LGBTQ community.

“I love coming because it’s acceptance for everyone,” Cockrell said. “It shows people that they can be who they are, whether they are closeted or out.”

She hopes that as Pride continues more and more people become accepting of the LGBTQ community.

Lewis loved seeing everyone at the fest wearing rainbow flags and colorful outfits. She added that she loved that everyone is so accepting.

It’s important to show people young and old in the community that they belong, she said, “no matter who they love or what they look like.”

“Even if we love differently and look differently, we’re all the same and we should be accepted the same as anyone else,” she said. “Love is love.”

Follow CJ Fairfield on Twitter @FairfieldCj

(24) comments

jayel86

"Rainbows and glitter", sounds like an event my 4 year old would enjoy.

awteam2000

Is that good or bad?

urblest

There were many four year olds there, having a great day

corgikid

“Even if we love differently and look differently, we’re all the same and we should be accepted the same as anyone else,” she said. “Love is love.” Translation: We're different but we're the same. What?

threecents

If you don't get it, you don't get it. Get it?

Comment deleted.
shiftless88

You should have attended. Next year do so and you can get free entertainment!

urblest

[smile]Thank you Frederick Center, a fabulous, non profit, all volunteer organization, for being there for all our youth, and young adults, and families of, I am so proud to be able to an ally and your #1 fan...as a cisgender white straight female. Thank you everyone that attended, many thanks to all our volunteers, we could not have done it without you. It was very nice to see all the attendees, and if you had a really good time and want to support TFC efforts, feel free to become a members, you can even help us plan year’s....which I think is year 10...,from such humble beginnings, WOW

urblest

Year 9, whoops...BTW, for anyone that doesn’t understand its significance, many religious, spiritual organizations are in attendance...they may give you additional guidance. Mine got me there year three, been helping ever since

PFLAG Frederick

Thanks to The Frederick Center for putting on such a wonderful and positive event. Happy Pride everyone!

Comment deleted.
shiftless88

Less than 3.5% of the population plays football but they cover it all the time. What's your point?

awteam2000

Everyone attends Pride Festivals, not only the 3.5% gay population and the events are held everywhere. Festivals are happening all over the country. No need to be afraid. Just a fun day. Here are several Pride Festivals in neighboring communities being held in the next few weeks: Ellicott City , Howard County Pride Day - June 29 Hagerstown Pride Day - July 13 Cumberland Pride Fest - July 14 Westminster Pride Day - July 13

awteam2000

Other upcoming Pride Festivals in the area: Annapolis -June 29, Shepherdstown - June 29 & 30, Montgomery County - June 29, Winchester - June 29.

niceund

It sure looked like people were having fun. Beautiful day.

Comment deleted.
phydeaux994

For the same reason the FNP does a lot of stories on straights. And why are you reacting? Just don't read it! Live and let live.

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