When Westminster residents Sean Ruark and Sadie Drawbaugh got ready for the day Saturday, they spread glitter across their faces and sprinkled rainbow stickers generously across their outfits.
It was a surreal feeling to get ready for a pride festival and realize it was happening in their own home town.
“I was one of the only openly gay people at Winters Mill High School,” Ruark said. “It’s a really good feeling … to come here and see the progression in four years.”
Members of the festival committee were keeping general track of the turnout. they printed 2,000 stickers for the festival and, by 1:30 p.m., only about 400 were left, said Sherri Hosfeld-Joseph, a member of the Westminster Pride Committee and owner of Birdie’s Cafe.
“It’s more than we expected. I’m so happy,” said Jason Garber, another member of the committee. He said he felt near tears but in a good way. Hosfeld-Joseph agreed.
Performer Kit Valentine, of Taylorsville, walked around the festival in the afternoon decked out in a tall blue hairstyle and bejeweled bodice, posing for plenty of pictures along the way.
PFLAG also had a booth at the festival. Liesl Flanagan, a member of Westminster’s PFLAG, said the group had good engagement with the crowd. It meets monthly at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Westminster.
“Everyone has been so excited,” she said of the crowd.
One of the festival volunteers, Diane Creedon, who was handing out stickers all afternoon, said the event was “absolutely” going well for its first year. She has also volunteered at LGBT+ events in Frederick and Hagerstown.
“It’s going to become even more fabulous,” she said.
In the spirit of true artistic creativity, Eleanor Tatreaux and Gerard Lonesome from the planet Zebulon are currently having an art show titled “Three Words” at Birdie’s Cafe in Westminster. The show began in March and runs through April at 233 E. Main St. in the main room of the cafe.
Ivy Allgeier said one of her favorite part of the festival had been reading all the different T-shirts people wore during the day. If the festival turns up again next year, she hopes that there will be more food or possibly a beer garden.
“Ten years ago, this never would have happened,” she said.
“It’s a pretty big step,” agreed her daughter Sadie Allgeier.
Ivy Allgeier said she had noticed that there were many booths advertising mental health counseling services.