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Best Place for a Gay Pride Festival

Druid Hill Park

Posted 9/17/1997

Every year, when it comes time to pick a spot for the Baltimore Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgendered Pride Festival, the complainers and naysayers pipe up like a herd of hard-to-please Goldilocks. Wyman Park, the usual spot (and one plagued by chronic drainage problems) is proclaimed too damp. Towson University, site of the fenced-in, treeless 1995 parade, is proclaimed too sun-baked and sterile. When the Pride Fest's organizers announced that the 1997 celebration would move for the first time to Druid Hill Park, the grumbling began anew; some folks whined about the untraditional choice, and concerns were aired in the local gay press about whether or not security would be tight enough to protect festgoers. (Wonder why the worrywarts never agonized this loudly about security when Pride was held in Towson or Wyman Park? Let's not even go there.)

But the day arrived in June, and oh, what a day it was: great weather, a huge crowd (organizers estimate it at more than 20,000), and an utterly charming site-lush with shade trees and greenery, dotted with wide-open spaces, and cooled by breezes lifting off Druid Park Lake. And maybe it's just us being boosterish, but the fest seemed a little more multicultural than usual-not to mention overrun with squealing evidence of the gay and lesbian baby boom we've heard so much about (for the first time, the Pride Fest included play activities for kids). In the days afterward, we heard nary a discouraging word about Druid Hill Park-as resounding a seal of approval as any from the city's diverse gay and lesbian community.

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All Awards for Druid Hill Park:

Best Place to Work-out, 9/16/2009

Best Place to Play Tennis, 9/19/2007

Best Park, 9/20/2006

Best Place to Play Tennis, 9/20/2006

Best Park, 9/21/2005

Best Place to Play Tennis, 9/21/2005

Best Park, 9/22/2004

Best Place to Swim, 9/22/2004

Best Public Swimming Pool, 9/19/2001

Best Park, City, 9/13/2000

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