BAR HARBOR — The LGBTQ+ community celebrates Pride month in June. This is a time when individuals can come together and honor who they are through a variety of events. Mount Desert Island is no exception.
Since its genesis in 2015, Bar Harbor’s Annual Pride Festival has grown into a multi-day celebration filled with outdoor events, live performances and close allies to commemorate with.
“This is one of my biggest joys and the time I can be my most genuine self,” said Jace Vance, an organizer of Bar Harbor Pride for six years. “It’s just so incredible to have a weekend full of people who are comfortable being themselves, are happy, and able to connect with people who live in different areas.”
Festivities begin today and continue through the weekend. Some highlights include Saturday’s outdoor festival and the Fogtown and Criterion drag show.
Pride organizers have also teamed up with Acadia National Park and the YWCA of Mount Desert Island to offer new events this year, including a youth dance party and birding walk.
The Bar Harbor Pride Festival started as a student College of the Atlantic senior project and has continued every year since. Vance said he wants more young people to get involved to continue the tradition and expand what is possible.
“I would love to see new people make their own new ideas happen because it doesn’t have to stay the same,” Vance said. “It should always be changing and growing as the community changes and grows.”
This weekend will mark Bar Harbor’s 8th anniversary of Pride celebration, but outside of the fun activities, Vance said it’s important to remember there are still large portions of the queer population facing increased discrimination, homelessness and suicide.
“That is really why Pride is important,” Vance said. “Queer people exist in all areas and need to be celebrated and supported and reminded that they have a community all across MDI and Hancock County.”
Thursday, June 9
5:30 p.m. – Patio party at Milk & Honey in Northeast Harbor.
Friday, June 10
8-10 a.m. – Guided birding walk in Acadia National Park. Call (207)288-8832 to reserve a spot.
5:30 p.m. – Drag show at Fogtown in Ellsworth.
Saturday, June 11
9:30 a.m. – Dog walk in Acadia National Park.
1-5 p.m. – Outdoor festival at Bar Harbor Congregational Church.
7-9 p.m. – Youth dance party at YWCA in Bar Harbor, ages 13-17. Masks required.
8 p.m. – Drag Show at the Criterion Theater in Bar Harbor. Masks required
Sunday, June 12
11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. – Ellsworth festival at Knowlton Park.
6:30 p.m. – Swim and hang at Hadley Point Beach in Bar Harbor.
For a complete listing and description of events, visit http://barharborpride.com.