Happy Pride from all of us at Hagerstown Hopes! This is one of our favorite times of year, a season of community, fun, and celebration for the LGBTQ community. We’ve been hard at work planning and making preparations for Hagerstown Pride. Along the way, we’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity to add a few events leading up to the Hagerstown Pride festival, scheduled for July 13th from noon to 6 pm in the Central Parking Lot in downtown Hagerstown. We hope you’ll join us to celebrate Pride season.
Pride season begins with our Pride Kickoff Night Out at the Gourmet Goat. Join us Thursday, June 27th from 5 to 9 pm for dinner, drinks, and to get into the spirit of Pride. The Gourmet Goat is located at 41 North Potomac Street, across from our Pride venue. Tours will be available for vendors and anyone interested in seeing the space before the big event. We will also have information available for anyone interested in volunteering for Pride, as well as information about upcoming programs and events.
We’re also partnering with Beacon House, a local STEAM XX nonprofit, to bring you “A Night in an Enchanted Garden,” located in the Courtyard of Mulberry Lofts, home of the Hagerstown Hopes Hub. Enjoy the magic with us Friday, July 12th from 6 to 10 pm as we raise money to fund the Kid Zone for Hagerstown Pride and, more importantly, to provide an LGBTQ STEAM scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior. DJ Sidekick will be spinning beats and food will be available, as well as a cash bar for those 21-plus with ID, and art will be on display for a silent auction. The Courtyard will be transformed into an enchanted garden for the evening, and this is an event you won’t want to miss. Tickets and additional information are available at HagerstownHopesMD.org. Come celebrate with us and support two good causes.
It’s difficult to top “A Night in an Enchanted Garden,” but we think Hagerstown Pride, held the following day, July 13th, may be up to the task. This year’s theme is “Love Grows,” commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. We’re finalizing details and contracts for Hagerstown Pride and we think this will be an extra special year for everyone in the community. You can expect some top-notch entertainment, delicious food, adult beverages for those 21-plus with ID, and we’ll have interactive art activities and games for youngsters in our Kid Zone.
We hope you’ll join us for Hagerstown Pride, held in the Central Parking Lot (14 North Potomac Street) from 11:30 am to 6 pm. All of our food vendor slots have been filled, but we still have a few openings for other vendors. There will also be opportunities for volunteers all day long, including student service-learning volunteer hours for students. Contact us through Facebook or visit us at HagerstownHopesMD.org for more information.
We’re ecstatic to announce that we also have a date for our first Youth Group meeting. It’s taken a lot of time and work to create a safe, responsible (and fun!) program that meets the needs of young people in our community. Our first official meeting will be on Saturday, August 3rd from 1 to 4 pm. In the meantime, we’re looking into having an information session in June to meet youth, their families, and to find out how we can better serve them. All members involved with the Youth Group will undergo a background check before the first meeting. Stay tuned for more details.
Hagerstown Hopes and every Pride festival exists to strengthen and support our community. If you’d like to get involved or keep up with what we’re doing, please like and follow us on Facebook. Or, visit us at HagerstownHopesMD.org for more information, register for a free HIV test, sign up for our monthly newsletter, make a donation, or become a volunteer.
Happy Pride from all of us to you.
- Brian George Hose has been an advocate for LGBTQ persons and issues all his adult life. He holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Shepherd University and looks forward to pursuing a Master's of Social Work with a focus in mental health. A former musician, Brian served as minister of music for New Light MCC for several years and incorporates music into social work practice. He lives in rural Western Maryland where he has amassed a sinful number of books, yarn, and books about yarn. He has been writing for Baltimore Out Loud since February 2016.