First-ever Salisbury Pride Parade and Festival leaves bold, colorful mark downtown

SALISBURY, Md.- A bright and bold statement was made Saturday afternoon, as the first-ever Salisbury Pride Festival left its mark downtown.

“It is so relieving and anxious at the same time to be able to create such a wonderful event for downtown Salisbury that has the possibility of being bigger and larger each year it happens,” Salisbury P-FLAG Executive Director Mark DeLancey said.

The day included live entertainment, food trucks and vendors, and an eye-grabbling parade.

Community agencies like Wrapped Around Maryland were also present, working with local families to tackle mental and behavior health issues. Many that impact LGBQT+ youth.  “If their child comes out to them, we help them on how to deal with it because there’s going to be a lot of emotions surrounding that not only from your child but you as a parent,” Lead Care Coordinator Shelly McClary-Reid said.

“Having that connection with P-FLAG and the pride community here in the Salisbury area is also very important to help understand who you are, where you are.”

While many enjoyed the safe, gender-affirming space to be themselves, others I spoke with say they were there for a different purpose. “I’m also coming out here in honor of my Dad. He was gay and he died last year. It’s a shame he didn’t get to see something like this,” Attendee Kim Vallejo said.

“He wasn’t his authentic self and I think that caused a lot of problems for him. I wish he was just able to be himself.”

The day was also a call to action, as some spoke on the recent overturn of Roe vs. Wade and wanting to find more ways to support the LGBTQ+ community. “Same legislation which brought that down can change things that happen for us as well. So that’s what makes these kinds of events so much more important to create that activism so that we can legislate against things like this to happen,” DeLancey said.

“When we first started it four or so years ago we were told it couldn’t happen, it wouldn’t be done, and no one would come. As you can see, its a bunch of people here and its only going to get bigger.”

Mark DeLancey with Salisbury P-FLAG tells 47ABC this year’s massive turn-out is a big indicator that the event will be back bigger and better next year.

Categories: Local News, Maryland