Participants sing karaoke in the 2016 Bar Harbor Pride Festival. The 2017 festival this year is this weekend. ISLANDER PHOTO BY LIZ GRAVES

Pride Fest this weekend

BAR HARBOR — Plans for the second annual Bar Harbor Pride Festival this weekend include publication of a zine with Mount Desert Island High School’s Gay Straight Diversity Alliance (GSDA), an outdoor fair Saturday afternoon, an all-ages bonfire with poetry and music, hiking and yoga, stand-up comedy and live music.

“We have this super beautiful, increasingly diverse LGBTQ+ community here,” organizer EL Belden said. “We’re queer every day and we want to make this town more supportive and encouraging.”

They hope to start an organization to facilitate communication across generations and other dividing lines.

“Last year, events were mostly in bars, because that’s what was available to us,” Belden said. “This year a focus has been doing outreach with highschool kids. We’re only a few years apart and yet we don’t know each other at all.”

Belden and Jasmine Bourgeois have worked with students and advisors in the GSDA on creation of the ‘zine, a do-it-yourself publication with art, poetry and other writing.

A launch party for the ‘zine is planned for June 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. at the Lompoc Café. Students and others will be invited to read some of their work both at the launch party and at the bonfire to follow at College of the Atlantic’s “sun shrine” from 6 – 9 p.m.

A “Pride FunFair” Saturday from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. in the Reel Pizza and Bar Harbor Congregational Church parking lots will include information tables from various organizations, art from local artists and a raffle.

Saturday night includes stand-up comedy and drag performances. The drag show will also include acts by the local winners of an amateur drag competition held earlier this summer at Little Anthony’s.

Yoga, hiking, and a closing barbeque are planned for Sunday.

“It’s been amazing to meet all the people that come out of the woodwork” planning for the festival, said Burden, a former College of the Atlantic student who now studies at Goddard College but lives and works here. “We realize that we are a small contingent of mostly young, white, college educated, COA-affiliated queer people. That is why is so important to us. We’d like to encourage conversation and collaboration across generational, racial, cultural and economic lines. We are hoping to begin creating spaces for this type of work to happen.”

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Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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