In light of the recent events in Orlando, and the much-deserved conversation on gender and sexuality that has found its place in the national spotlight, there is no more important time to celebrate the achievements of the LGBTQ community and acknowledge the road ahead. At the 41st annual Baltimore Pride, come together through scores of events, full of food, drink, music, fun, and festivities.
July 22: Twilight on the Terrace
Gertrude’s Restaurant, 10 Art Museum Dr. 7-11 p.m. $125.
Each year, Baltimore Pride gets bigger and better than ever before. Not only has the GLCCB promised for a more inclusive lineup this year, but Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has also declared the week of July 17-24 Pride Week. There are happy hours and kickoff events leading up to the big affair, and on Friday night, you can head to Gertrude’s at the Baltimore Museum of Art, which has hosted a pre-Pride tradition before the big festivities for the past 11 years. At Twilight on the Terrace, guests can indulge in a delicious night of passed hors d’oeuvres, an open bar, and live music on the restaurant’s romantic terrace. Think John Shields’s summer specialties like watermelon, feta, and mint skewers; tomato, basil, and sweet corn flatbreads; Old Bay deviled eggs; and fried chicken salad with buttermilk dressing on endive. Proceeds from this delicious event will benefit Baltimore Pride.
Mount Vernon Marketplace, 520 Park Ave. 9 p.m.-2 a.m. Free.
After an intense day of celebrating in the streets, beat the heat at Mount Vernon Marketplace, with a Pride after-party hosted by Pinch Dumplings. All night, Natty Bohs will cost a mere $2, The Local Oyster will be serving up speciality cocktails and shrimp salad sandwiches, Taps Fill Station will be pouring drafts of wine, cider, and beer, and Culture and Between2Buns will be offering extended happy hour and drink specials (plus the craziest fries in town). DJ James McNasty will be on the ones and twos, and a photobooth will be on hand to capture favorite moments from this year’s Pride.
July 23: Pride Parade, Block Party, and more
Mount Vernon. Parade, Charles St. from Madison to Chase Sts. 2 p.m. Block Party, Cathedral, Read, Eager, & Charles Sts. 4-10 p.m. Free.
Saturday is a Pride-packed day, with events throughout Mount Vernon and the city running into the wee hours of the night. Start your day with the iconic High Heel Race at 1 p.m., where competitors will test their luck running up Cathedral Street in their favorite stilettos. Afterwards, join in on the vibrant Pride Parade, with a full lineup of cars, motorcycles, floats, marching bands, and costumes running down Charles Street, followed by the big blockbuster block party, dubbed a “nightclub without walls,” with music, dancing, and all around good spirits in the streets. Scores of regional artists will perform, including headliners like beloved local rapper and king of Baltimore DIY Abdu Ali at 8 p.m., followed by former American Idol contestant (and Baltimore native) George Lovett, ’90s dance powerhouse Crystal Waters, and Billboard chart-topper (“Finally”) CeCe Peniston. A special tribute will also be paid to the victims of last month’s Orlando nightclub shooting. From there, Baltimore mainstay Grand Central will be open until 2 a.m., with DJs, disco, and dance parties to continue to the community celebrations all night.
Single Carrot Theatre, 2600 N. Howard St. 8-11 p.m. $20-25.
Get to know The Black Rainbow, a new self-described “neo-queer collective,” dedicated to strengthening the LGBTQ community through entertainment, outreach, and civic engagement. This year, they’ve put on two open mic events in the heart of downtown Baltimore, and this Saturday, they premiere at the Single Carrot Theatre in Remington. At “Guerilla Wordfare,” 10 poets will compete for cash prizes in this open mic and poetry slam, with the general public invited to participate in the first hour. Browse local vendors, hear beats by local DJ Trillnatured, and see a live performance by rock/funk/soul quintet, The Cool Lots.
July 24: Pride Festival and Splash Party
Festival, Druid Hill Park, 2600 Madison Ave. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free. Splash Party, Druid Hill Park Pool, 800 Wyman Park Dr. 3-6 p.m. $5-7.
From the city streets of Mount Vernon to the shaded grass of Druid Hill Park, Pride continues to celebrate on Sunday with a full-day festival. Join thousands to celebrate the LGBTQ community, with a morning interfaith prayer service, a fun-filled family zone, the Lady Lisa Memorial Drag Stage, and a host of local and regional performers, including DJs, dancers, comedians, and musicians. With another hot weekend upon us, you can also chill out at the park pool with afternoon swimming and coolers welcome.