Baltimore Pride Wins Best of Gay Md. AwardBy Maggie Beetz
Baltimore Pride Festival won the R-Group’s Best of Gay Maryland Award for Best LGBT Event of the Year. Also known as the aRGgies, the awards were announced on March 31 via a live Internet radio broadcast hosted by Kevin Walling, National Field Director of No Labels, and Ted Hart, founder of the R-Group, Maryland’s largest gay and lesbian social group.
“There are so many people who work hard every year to improve the quality of life for all gay Marylanders, this is why we celebrate them with the aRGies,” said Hart to Gay Life. A record total of 2,407 votes were cast this year.
Baltimore Pride has been a staple of the Baltimore gay community since its inception. From small beginnings— about 20 people attended the 1976 rally at Mt. Vernon’s Washington Monument—Baltimore Pride has grown into a series of events that lead up to a weekend-long celebration with an estimated 30,000 attendees.
Why has Baltimore Pride enjoyed such success?
“I think because after so many years it has become ingrained into peoples’ consciousness and is something to look forward to, and plan for, every year. Almost like a holiday,” said Craig Wiley, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore.
Other aRGgie Award winners for 2011 include: Grand Central Station (bar); Mt. Vernon Stable (restaurant); Mt. Vernon Fitness (gym); Shawnna Alexander (drag personality); Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler (straight ally); Ron Zimmerman Realty (business or nonprofit); Alex Funk (DJ); Baltimore OutLoud (publication); Baltimore OutLoud Editor Steve Charing (person of the year).
DETAILS: Baltimore Pride 2011, June 17-19. BaltimorePride.org.
Maggie Beetz is the Editor of Gay Life