It was only natural that for Bangor Pride 2019, the celebration’s theme would be a major anniversary happening this year: the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riot, the formative event in the early days of the LGBTQ rights movement.
The riot, which happened at the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 28, 1969, was the inspiration for the first-ever Pride events held in 1970. Today, Pride events are held throughout June all over the world, and in 10 Maine cities and towns, including Ogunquit, Sanford, Waterville, Belfast, Hallowell, Portland, Ellsworth, Lewiston-Auburn, Bar Harbor and Bangor.
Bangor Pride, organized again this year by the Health Equity Alliance, began a few days ago, with events including the Rainbow Run 5K in Orono on Sunday and the Charlie Howard Memorial Ceremony on Monday, which honors Howard, a young gay man who was murdered in 1984 in Bangor. For the fourth year in a row, Bangor has painted in rainbow colors on a crosswalk on State Street in downtown, near where Howard was killed.
Other events include Quorship, a queer worship service, set for 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Hampden Congregational Church. On Thursday, there’s the annual Night OUT! at the Penobscot Theatre Company, with a party starting at 5:30 p.m. at PTC’s Dramatic Academy at 51 Main St., and a performance of “Mamma Mia!” at 7 p.m. at the Bangor Opera House. There’s an open mic night at 6 p.m. at Tea & Tarts and Queer Karaoke at 9 p.m. at Ipanema Bar & Grill.
On Friday, there’s a nonalcoholic “caffeine crawl” through coffeeshops set for 4 to 6 p.m. and a pub crawl starting at 9 p.m. Both have a $5 cover charge. There’s also a Pride Story Slam set for 6:30 p.m. at West Market Square Coffeehouse and a Pride-themed improv comedy show set for 7 p.m. at Queen City Cinema Club. Also that night, MaineTransNet will host a Queer Prom, set for 8-11 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library. Admission is free for youth or $15 for adults.
Saturday brings the main event for Bangor Pride, with the parade set for noon through downtown Bangor, followed by the festival from 1 to 4 p.m. in West Market and Pickering squares. Also that afternoon, the Briar Patch hosts a Pride story time for small children at 11 a.m. and drag queen story hour at 3 p.m.
Saturday evening, there’s tabletop gaming at the Maine Discovery Museum from 6 to 9 p.m., there’s a chem-free youth dance from 7 to 10 p.m. at the Bangor Public Library, and there’s the EqualityMaine Pride After-Party, a 21-plus event set for 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at the Bangor Arts Exchange. Tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door.
Pride wraps up on Sunday with drag brunch from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Tea & Tarts and LGBTQ Sunday Service at 10 a.m. at the Hammond Street Congregational Church.
For more information, visit the Bangor Pride Facebook page.