SBY Pride organizers prepare for October celebration
SALISBURY, Md. – June 7th was supposed to mark Salisbury’s first ever LGBTQIA pride parade and festival. But, those plans are on hold over COVID-19 concerns. 47ABC spoke with organizers, who say that they’re still getting ready to celebrate, but it won’t be until October 24th. “For this to be an event that was the first for the Lower Shore, a lot of us were looking forward to it. So, it is disappointing, but at the same time we want to make sure that we are putting on the best possible event,” said Salisbury PFLAG board member Makya Purnell.
Purnell tells 47ABC that Salisbury PFLAG is working with the city to foster a safe and accepting environment. “Salisbury now has this potential to be this spot that we’ll look at and say it’s a pretty progressive place where I can come there, and I know that I’ll feel welcome there,” said Purnell.
Mayor Jake Day tells 47ABC that Salisbury PFLAG has been proactively planning for the postponement to make sure everybody is safe while they celebrate. “This is a pretty high intensity group of planners, and they immediately wanted to postpone and make sure that they worked out all the details,” said Mayor Day.
But, Purnell says that there is a silver lining. More time waiting means more time to plan. “Once everyone was connected – and thought, well okay, this person can do that – I think it became much easier. It becomes a little bit easier because there’s not a burden on just one person. There are a lot of heads together to make this event,” said Purnell.
Looking ahead to October, both Mayor Day and organizers say that this is an opportunity for people in Salisbury to come together and celebrate diversity. “The opposite represents feeling like people having to silenced – feeling like you can’t be who you are in your own community – and that’s simply unacceptable,” said Mayor Day.
Purnell says having a pride parade in Salisbury will take the community one step closer to celebrating diversity. “I think that it’s time for not only the shore, but everywhere to think about how we’re making sure that our cultures are intersectional, and I think pride is one step of that for the Eastern Shore,” said Purnell.
Salisbury Pride organizers say that they’ll be spreading the word about the parade and festival via social media. They also say that people in Salisbury can still look out for pride banners throughout this month. Organizers say they’re excited to officially celebrate come October.