Inaugural gay pride event planned for Westminster on July 7th, 2018

Inaugural gay pride event planned for Westminster on July 7th, 2018 By Kevin Dayhoff
Westminster, Md. June 4, 2018 – – After months of meetings
and preparations, a group of Carroll County citizens have formed to develop
plans to hold an inaugural gay pride event, The Westminster Pride Festival, in
Westminster. The newly formed Westminster Pride Planning Committee is a
consortium of civic, business, nonprofit, and church leaders who have joined
together with community leaders and members of the LGBTQ+ community and their
The planned event, The Westminster Pride Festival is believed to be the first of its kind in our community. It will take place on
July 7, 2018 from noon to 5 p.m. in the 200 block of East Main Street, between
Church and Court Streets. Permits for the event have been issued from the City
of Westminster.
All proceeds from The Westminster Pride Festival will be donated to the Westminster
Pride Festival Fund, which is a fund of the Community Foundation of Carroll
County. The fund is the very first LGBTQ+ fund at the Community Foundation with
a specific focus on the LGBTQ+ community.
According to information from the planning committee, The
Westminster Pride Festival seeks to raise the visibility of the LGBTQ+
community in Westminster and Carroll County. “It is time we showed our pride in
our community,” said Jason Garber, who along with his husband Lance Garber have
been planning this event with a core group of dedicated volunteers.
“We have made Westminster and Carroll County our home,” said
Garber, a McDaniel graduate and former president of McDaniel chapter of Allies.
“My husband and I enjoy living in this very close knit and accepting community,
and we want to celebrate Pride Month with all the friends, family and allies we
‘Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month’ – LGBT
Pride Month is currently celebrated annually in the month of June to honor the
1969 Stonewall Inn civil unrest in New York City, otherwise known as the
“Stonewall Riots,” that took place following a police raid on the Stonewall
Inn, a gay bar at 43 Christopher Street, in Manhattan. In subsequent years,
marches, parades, festivals, and events have been scheduled in the spring to
shed additional light on the civil rights of the gay and lesbian community.
According to various media accounts, ever since the initial Christopher
Street Liberation Day on June 28, 1970 marked the first anniversary of the
Stonewall riots, the participants have encountered very little resistance from
This year, in Carroll County, it was decided by the
organizing committee that in order to be respectful of other Pride events that
are taking place in Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia and Frederick, MD,
The Westminster Pride Festival wanted to kick off its inaugural year with no
calendar conflicts. “People do generally celebrate pride with more than one festival,
especially on the east coast where it is easy to make it to various pride parades
and festivals.” said Garber.
Founding sponsors of The Westminster Pride Festival include
Random House Penguin, MerMaids, and Birdie’s Café. The committee is made up of
over twenty volunteers, who have dedicated many hours to ensure the success of
this event.
The mission of the Westminster Pride Festival, according to
the planning committee, is to assure the success of a yearly festival that includes
information, support, music, art, food and overall acceptance and solidarity
within the LGBTQ+ community, their allies and the Carroll County community.
According to the planning committee, The Westminster Pride
Festival looks forward to creating a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community to
express and affirm themselves, increase visibility and foster respect for those
who want to express their own sexual and gender identity.
“We endeavor to make this a yearly event that will
ultimately lead to scholarships for the education of LGBTQ+ students,” said
Sherri Hosfeld-Joseph, owner of Birdie’s Café and founding member of the
Westminster Pride Festival. “This is something our community is clearly longing
for… We look forward to an outpouring of support from our community in support
of our LGBTQ+ friends, family members and loved ones.”
Vendors will include local restaurants including Maggie’s,
Bud’s at Silver Run, The Food Chick, Starry Night Bakery and many others.
Entertainment will be provided by local bands, Henry and the
Big Sleazy, The Flying Faders, Brinjal Band, The Dune Flowers, Faceplant and DJ
Information on healthcare, counseling services, and
resources for the LGBTQ+ community and their allies will be available as well.
Families are encouraged to attend with children to enjoy
food, games, activities and a day full of information and affirmation.
Merchandise commemorating the inaugural event will be for sale on the planning
committee’s website as well as the day of the festival.
For more information on how
to become a vendor or sponsor, email the planning committee at, or visit the website at or go to the Westminster Pride Festival Facebook page at @westminsterpridefest. Visit the site to obtain
information about the festival schedule and events, vendor booth applications,
sponsorship or donation opportunities, or to learn how to volunteer.
Related: “Organizer Jason Garber on the first Westminster
Pride Festival” By Jon Kelvey Carroll County Times: On Saturday, July 7,
downtown Westminster will host its first LGBTQ+ pride event, as the Westminster
Pride Festival fills the 200 block of East Main Street between Church and Court
Streets… Read much more here:
Related: Westminster Pride Festival announces a fund at the
Community Foundation of Carroll County, May 11, 2018 – updated June 27, 2018
A fund for the Westminster Pride Festival has been
established at the Community Foundation here:


Carroll County Times:
Baltimore Sun Carroll Eagle:
Westminster Fire Dept. and MTA Lodge #20 Chaplain and PIO
Kevin Dayhoff Art:
Tumblr: Kevin Dayhoff Banana Stems
Kevin Dayhoff Time Flies:


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