With warmer weather comes an array of outdoor festivals, including the Annapolis Pride Parade & Festival on June 1, which Christine Feldmann, spokesperson for the festival, describes as a “fun, family-friendly event that is all about love.” Add in live music, vendors, artists, food and a celebrity Grand Marshall, and you can expect an unforgettable weekend in Maryland’s capital city.

“It’s a great way to show your support of the LGBTQ community at a positive, fun, lighthearted, family-friendly event,” says Feldmann, who notes that last year’s event was attended by over 10,000 people.

Attend the Annapolis Pride Festival after the parade at Maryland Hall in downtown Annapolis. (John Goucher)

Celebrity fashion designer Christian Siriano, an Annapolis native, will serve as this year’s Grand Marshall. “We are so thrilled! We’ve wanted him to be Grand Marshall for several years, so we are so happy that his schedule worked out this year,” says Feldmann.

This year’s parade route has been extended and will now run from the historic Annapolis City Dock to Maryland Hall and will begin at Noon. The festival site has also been moved to Maryland Hall and the Bates Athletic Complex and will last from Noon to 5 p.m. “The parade and festival have become so popular that we needed more space for both; it’s a good problem to have,” says Feldmann. This year’s theme is Anchored with Pride, a nod to Annapolis’s maritime heritage.

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In addition to the parade—which promises to be a fun event guaranteed to make you smile—the festival touts myriad vendors ranging from artists and crafters to local shops and restaurants. There is also an adult cocktail area provided by presenting sponsor Absolut Vodka.

“We also have great live music … Latin music, New Orleans-style brass bands, L. Rodgers, a Marylander who competed on The Voice, DJs, local bands, and poetry readings. There is something for everyone and all age groups,” says Feldmann.

And while the parade and festival on June 1 are considered the main events of Pride weekend, Feldmann notes that there are other fun activities that week, too.

Celebrating love and diversity at the Annapolis Pride Parade. (John Goucher)

On May 28, from 4 to 7 p.m., Annapolis Pride: Forward Brewing Pride Beer Release will be held with the unveiling of a special brew just for Pride! The free event also will have Pride shirts for sale, and kids are welcome at this family-friendly event. Then, on May 30, Pride on the Pier will be held from 5 to 9 p.m., on the docks in Eastport and will feature fun, food, music, and drinks for those over 21. Your entry includes food provided by Bread and Butter Kitchen and there will be a cash bar provided by Vintage Views Bar.

Of course, no Pride festivity would be complete without a Drag Brunch, so on June 2, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., head to The Trophy Room: The Bar at the Graduate Hotel for a fun day of singing, dancing and revelry to wind down a memorable Pride weekend.

Feldmann encourages Pride attendees to make a weekend out of it in order to enjoy not only all the fun events but also stay in a historic inn or home, indulge in Annapolis’s many famed restaurants and support local businesses. For hotel recommendations, visit www.visitannapolis.org—but don’t delay as this event continues to grow each year.

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