People walk on a rainbow crosswalk last month on Central Street in downtown Hallowell. The city painted the colorful crosswalk in the colors of the Progress Pride Flag in observance of Pride Month. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

HALLOWELL — The Hallowell Pride Alliance is planning to host its second Pride parade Saturday after the COVID-19 pandemic forced the event’s cancellation last summer.

Alex AuCoin, vice president of the Hallowell Pride Alliance, said the organization is anticipating a large turnout this year and Saturday’s event is likely to be larger than the first parade in 2019.

“Many people are eager to return to celebrating together,” she said. “We encourage anyone that wants to participate to show up and join us.”

The Hallowell Pride Alliance was founded in 2018 by AuCoin, Maureen AuCoin, April Fenton, Sparky Lindsey, Ed Miller, Victor Trapanier and Chris Vallee.

Alex AuCoin said the organization celebrates Hallowell and its LGBTQ+ community through education, outreach, advocacy and celebration in Hallowell and surrounding communities.

“We strive to keep Hallowell welcoming for all genders, orientations and identities,” she said.

The organization now has 21 members.

The parade is part of the organization’s Summer of Pride series of events, which centers on educating, advocating and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and on supporting organizations and businesses that have supported those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer or questioning.

The events kicked off in early June with a concert and educational and fundraising events. Pride Karaoke is planned for 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Thursday at the Easy Street Lounge at 7 Front St. in Hallowell.

The Parade lineup is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. at the NAMI Maine office at 52 Water St. The parade is to start 4 p.m., and travel south toward the boat landing.

Pride parades are typically held in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in June 1969, a historic response to police harassment of LGBTQ+ people in New York City. This year’s parade, according to Alex AuCoin, was delayed until July due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parade falls on the same day the city’s annual Old Hallowell Day event would have occurred. After consulting with public safety officials about pandemic concerns, the Old Hallowell Day Committee announced recently this year’s festivities would be canceled. The celebration is planned to resume July 15, 2022.

Following Saturday’s parade, a Pride DJ Dance Party is planned for 8:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. at the Easy Street Lounge.

On Sunday, The Quarry Tap Room at 122 Water St., also in Hallowell, is planning to host drag brunch trivia from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Other events are planned for throughout the summer in Hallowell, including:

• Art and Gender Exhibit: The Harlow Gallery, 100 Water St. The event is planned for Aug. 6 through Sept. 11, with an opening reception from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Aug. 6.

• Hallowell Pride Drag Show: The Quarry Tap Room, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Aug. 14.

• Mixology Class: The Maine House, 119 Water St. Planned for 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 14 and 15.

A full schedule of events is available on the Hallowell Pride Alliance’s Facebook page. Applications to attend the parade are also available on the page.

“All people, organizations and businesses that are members or allies of the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and/or questioning, intersex and asexual) community are welcome to participate and attend,” Alex AuCoin said.

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