HALLOWELL — Many residents of Hallowell might not have been able to tell it was a rainy, gloomy day Saturday as the Pride parade made its way down Water Street.

The nearly 50 participants, all dressed head to toe in sparkles and every color of the rainbow, worked to dance away the rain as they waved to those in attendance.

The parade is part of the Hallowell Pride Alliance’s “Summer of Pride.”

April Fenton hands out flags Saturday in the staging area before the Hallowell Pride parade on Water Street in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

It fell on the same weekend Old Hallowell Day would traditionally take place, however, the annual event was canceled this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. It is set to resume in 2022.

The”Summer of Pride” events are organized by Hallowell Pride Alliance, a group with a goal to educate and advocate for the LGBTQ+ community. Events kicked off in early June and will continue through the end of August, culminating with a drag show on Aug. 14. Other events over the next two months include dancing, trivia and art classes. A full list can be found on the HPA Facebook Page.

James Moorhead, an alliance member, said the group started planning the parade around four weeks ago after hearing feedback from members.

“We heard feedback and they wanted and needed this, so we got right on it,” he said.

Moorhead and his husband of nine years, Clyne Hodges, moved to Hallowell two years ago after living and planning Pride parades in Georgia. They said the accepting community in Hallowell is what brought them here after only knowing one person in the whole state upon their move.

Kieran Kammerer, a local pediatrician, agrees, and said events like the Pride parade are “what makes Hallowell a great place.”

“It’s great to be involved and show my support, especially as a pediatrician, it’s important to show young kids,” he said.

Grand Marshall Bruce “Bruceilla” Mayo waves Saturday while marching in the Hallowell Pride parade along Water Street in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Kammerer built a “Hallowell Pride” sign for the 1937 pickup truck he bought a month ago. The red truck is “perfect for the parade” he said.

He was joined by Steve Doore, who is attending the event as an ally to his daughter, who just came out.

“The more people see their families involved, they might feel more comfortable,” Doore said.

City Councilor Maureen “Mo” Aucoin lead the parade in her orange Vespa, outfitted from head to toe in rainbow colors and a big smile. Her partner, Alex AuCoin, was part of the group that put the parade together. She donned a rainbow wig and rainbow-sequined shoes.

Sparky Linsey rode in Kammerer’s truck.

A group of people riding motorcycles or scooters was at the front of the Hallowell Pride parade Saturday on Water Street in Hallowell. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“I’m so excited, it feels like a release from all of the burden,” she said. “I’m so happy it’s a Summer of Pride.”

After the parade, folks can visit the Easy Street Lounge at 8:30 p.m. for a Pride dance party. On Sunday, drag brunch trivia will take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Quarry Tap Room, ending in time for the Tea Dance to take place outdoors at Slates from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

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