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Pride weekend kicks off in Baltimore

Posted at 11:38 PM, Jun 15, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 23:39:31-04

Twilight on The Terrace kicked off Baltimore Pride weekend. Gertrude's Restaurant has been putting on the party for 12 years.

Organizers say they broke records with attendance Friday with nearly 300 people, which shows how important Pride is to the community.

"Pride is not just a celebration that happens a weekend out of the year, it’s something that we should do 365 days out of the year," said Summer Knight, Miss Gay Maryland USofA.

Gertrude's has been hosting the kick-off event, but this event is about more than cocktails and canapes.

"People have forgotten what it’s really about. People just see the parties and parades, but it’s really about what happened all those year ago at stonewall and how people started the movement and how we need to continue the movement," said guest, Charles Robinson.

Well-dressed guests enjoyed the lush atmosphere John Shields, owner of Gertrude's, offers to his guests for good reason.

"All the rights that we've worked so hard for and fought for and tenuous and we have to stay out there and be visible and have a great party," said Shields.

The party preps started hours before the guests arrived but this party is a special one.  It's also a fundraiser for the Gay & Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore or GLCCB.

"It's about people from every background coming together to celebrate and celebrate diversity and celebrate inclusiveness," Sheilds said.

Pride Baltimore will also benefit from the generosity of the community--Baltimore has celebrated Pride weekend for more than 40 years bringing unity to the city.

" Our theme is united we shine and what we really like to do is focus on what brings us together as opposed to the things that divide us and I think that's what pride weekend is all about," said Chris Weis, of Baltimore Price and a GLCCB board member.

The Pride Parade starts at 1 p.m. Saturday at Charles and 33rd Streets. The block party is at Station North at 4 p.m.

More than 30,000 people hit Pride weekend last year. Organizers hope to exceed that number this year.

Click here for more information on Pride weekend.