Gay Pride Parade Largest in Three Years

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Michael Snell, The Organizer of the Gay Pride Parade for the Last Three Years.

Michael Snell, The Organizer of the Gay Pride Parade for the Last Three Years.

Flags Were Flying Aboard This Float.

Flags Were Flying Aboard This Float Today in the Bright Sunshine and Gentle Breeze.  Perfect Weather for a Parade.

One of the Many Floats in Todays Parade.

One of the Many Floats in Todays Parade at the Corner of Preble and Congress Streets. The Outrageous Float Received Big Applause.  The More Outrageous, the Better the Floats are Liked.

Ashton, 5, With Her Mom Lee Farrington, Today.

Ashton, 5, With Her Mom Lee Farrington, Today.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,620)

“We grow every year.  Last year we had 72 groups register and this year we have 83,” said Michael Snell, the organizer for the Gay Pride Parade for the last three years.  Snell said that there were a lot of people who registered at the last minute – they just wanted to support us.  That increase may be because of the tragedy at the Orlando LGBT club a week ago. Snell said he and his committee of 13 people work on the Parade all year round, but this time of the year – “We work full time.”

Previously other groups organized the Parade for many years.  But they burned out from all of the work and stopped.  That’s when Snell stepped in to save this long-standing tradition in Portland.

Lee Farrmington, was watching the Parade at the corner of Preble and Congress Streets with her daughter, Ashton, 5. “This is the largest parade I’ve seen in a couple of years,” Farrmington said.  As to her restaurant LB Kitchen on the East End of Portland, Farrington said she hopes to have it open in September 2016.  Formerly it was FIGA and has been closed for several years now. (See below right photo.)

The Parade ended in Deering Oaks Park with a festival of music, performances and sponsors of the event.

Doing double its normal business for a Satruday, the new Sister’s Gourmet Deli was a bee hive of activity with Parade watchers and participants stopping in for lunch.

The seven week old sandwich shop features wonderful home-made white bread with herbs and spices. Owner Michaela McVitty, formerly owned Wicked Good Wieners, Old Orchard Beach; Fit to Eat; Portland and White Cap Grille; Portland. Most sandwiches on the menu cost $8.50. – delicious sandwiches that can be made into equally delicious salads if requested. It’s located at 15 Monument Way and there is free delivery in the Old Port area.