As the month-long celebrations of Pride continue, Howard County is excited to celebrate their inaugural Pride festival from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. at Centennial Park in Ellicott City.  The festival is co-hosted by PFLAG Columbia-Howard County and County Executive Calvin Ball.  The festival’s committee chairman, Jumel Howard, recently chatted with Baltimore OUTloud about the upcoming event.


Frankie Kujawa: This is the first ever celebration of Pride in Howard County.  What are you most excited about for this Pride?

Jumel Howard: I would have to say that the most exciting thing about our inaugural festival has been the overwhelmingly positive response from the community. Our elected officials, business community, nonprofit organizations, and just average people have come out in droves to support this cause. It really brings a smile to my face knowing that I come from a community that means it when we say “Everyone Welcome”


FK: Could you give us some details as to what people can expect from this year’s Pride celebration?

JH: We have so many exciting things planned for [June] 29th! Stand-up comics, one act plays, magic shows, tons of locally based craft vendors that make things from handmade jewelry to amazing henna tattoos, music, useful resources from government agencies and community organizations, affirming small businesses, healthcare resources (both mental and physical), delicious food, affirming faith congregations, free mom hugs, family fun, and a lot of different games including jumbo Jenga! Bottom line, it’s a day you shouldn’t miss!


FK: After Forever is being presented in connection with Howard County Pride through the Columbia Film Festival.  Why is it important to have those partnerships, especially with the Columbia Film Festival?

JH: Community partnerships are what make events like Howard County Pride and The Columbia Film Festival possible. Understanding the intersectionality of our community and how so many segments of life overlap is how we as an increasingly diverse society will be able to not just see the underlying issues impeding our progress but also find the solutions to those very impediments and sustain the equitable and inclusive culture that many people came to Howard County to enjoy.


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Frankie Kujawa
Frankie Kujawa
Since 2011, arts writer Frankie Kujawa has covered a wide scope of entertainment stories and celebrity interviews. From the late Carrie Fisher and LGBTQ icon George Takei to comedians Lily Tomlin and Kathy Griffin to performer Idina Menzel, Kujawa’s candid interview ability brings readers past the byline and into the heart of the story. His unbiased previews of Baltimore-Washington’s theatre scene have allowed readers an inside glimpse of today’s most popular local and national performances. A Baltimore-native, Kujawa is proud to call Charm City his home.