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2016 LGBT Pride parade focused on "One Baltimore," set to bring big music acts

Member of the LGBT community gather in Baltimore (WBFF)

BALTIMORE, Md. (WBFF) - The theme of this summer's 41st annual LGBT Pride focuses "One Baltimore" in a celebration featuring a parade, block party, youth-centric events and headlining performances by dance music star Crystal Waters and CeCe Peniston.

The Baltimore Pride Parade and Block Party will take place in Mt. Vernon on Saturday, July 23 starting at 2 p.m. and will feature shows by CeCe Peniston and Crystal Waters plus Baltimore's own Abdu Ali and George Lovett. The Pride Festival will be held the next day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Druid Hill Park.

This year's theme is meant to encourage unity in Baltimore, says GLCCB President and Baltimore Pride chair Jabari Lyles.

"Obviously, a big part of my job as GLCCB director involves keeping operations afloat," says Lyles. "However, I'd say the most important part of my job is working to unify communities in Baltimore. Anyone honestly doing this work would have to say that."

Lyles says, "One Baltimore should not be taken to mean dilution of differences, but rather a wish towards a day where differences are honored, and that we as citizens of Baltimore take pride in the differences we possess."

Baltimore's Pride planning committee of about 20 volunteers have been working since November 2015 to organize the event for the local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities.

"I'm incredibly proud of this committee," says Lyles. "Not only did our committee do an incredible job with planning, perhaps the best part for me is seeing community members step up and become leaders. We all will be beaming with pride during the week of July 17th."

The week will include events for youth, seniors, transgender community members, bisexual community members, women, the BDSM community, community members in recovery and persons of faith.

This year's sponsors include The Ivy Hotel, Southern Management, PNC Bank, Absolut Vodka and Republic National Distribution Company, Kaiser Permanente, Grand Central Nightclub, BGE, PayPal, Suntrust Bank, Maryland Transit Administration, Prosync Technology Group, Baltimore Eagle, Flavor, STAR TRACK Adolescent Health Program at University of Maryland, Baltimore OUTLoud, Carefirst Blue Cross Blue Shield, Merritt Athletic Club, Faith Communities of Baltimore with Pride, Wells Fargo Bank, Bank of America and City Café.

To learn more about Baltimore Pride, click here.

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