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We originally ran this piece on June 19, 2013. Since Baltimore Pride is this weekend we’re revisiting it. We recommend you visiting Baltimore Pride. -ed.

All photos Andres Miguel Harris

Baltimore is like Washington, DC’s own Canada – an entity just to the north of us which most people here don’t know anything about. That’s a shame, because Baltimore is amazing. Case in point, Charm City maintains the most awesome pride celebrations on the East Coast (and most in Washington don’t have faintly a clue that it is going on).

Coming a week after Capital Pride, Baltimore Pride is like Bizzaro Superman to DC’s Superman. There are no corporate sponsors of Baltimore Pride. There are no buttoned-down happy hour fundraisers for charity; no fleet of bank floats competing for your attention. But, what Baltimore Pride does have is a party…a massive one. After a modest parade, it spills out onto the streets of Baltimore’s Mount Vernon neighborhood on Saturday night. Thousands come to dance. They dance in the street. They dance in parking lots. They dance in back alleys. They dance on dumpters. They dance on stoops and window ledges. They climb abandoned houses to dance on the roof, and they even dance on moving cars.

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Come Sunday afternoon, the party moves to Baltimore’s Druid Hill Park. A few businesses set up booths, but its mostly a lazy day of families and couples lounging on the grass taking in everything from hardcore punk acts (could you imagine that on the Capital Pride Festival mainstage?) to aspiring drag queens who couldn’t quite make the cut for the Saturday night party stage.

No one cares who you are, what pack you run with, or what you do for a living. If you’re there to get down, then you’re cool. Each time you attend Baltimore Pride it feels like that first pride you ever went to – giving its attendees that liberating feeling that there are others like you (if different than you) who get you, and who want to give you a place to belong. There’s no political agenda. There’s just the party, and the community that it brings together. It’s hard to describe Baltimore Pride without experiencing it firsthand. In the Pantheon of American institutions, there are a few which could be considered a treasure to the nation: the Indy 500, the Kentucky Derby, Puxsutawney’s Groundhog Day, and then there is, yes, Baltimore Pride.

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ponylittleFor more on DC’s queer nightlife scene, follow the @BYGays on Twitter

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