Frederick Pagan Pride Day 2017 raised 573.16 lbs of food for The Frederick Food Bank!
It is an amazing thing to watch a festival grow; to start as a tiny seed of an idea, to show its first tender shoots and leaves and then to watch it bear better and stronger fruit with every passing harvest. Like any living spirit, what you sow and how you care for that life greatly influences the fruit you later harvest, and Frederick Pagan Pride Day is no exception. As ever, I am so overwhelmed with gratitude to so many people for an almost unbelievable amount of energy, time, love and dedication to our festival.
First, and always, I am so grateful to the incredible team of volunteers who come together to serve the community through Frederick Pagan Pride Day. This amazing group of people coordinate throughout the year (and especially during the run-up to September) to create, nurture and support a day of Pagan fun in the sun. They came for setup on Friday night, arrived early Saturday morning, and didn’t leave till dusk Saturday night. It is a LOT of work, and Frederick Pagan Pride Day is incredibly blessed to have such wonderful folks invested in making this event happen. It is my hope that our team got to take it easy today – they definitely earned it. Remember, the volunteers of Frederick Pagan Pride Day throw a party they don’t get to attend – rather than go to the workshops, rituals and performances, they direct traffic, run the registration booth, refill water stations, check the bathrooms and grounds…they make Frederick Pagan Pride Day the safe, sacred space it is, and they choose to do so instead of all the fun things that draw us to a festival. I am always overwhelmed by that kind of dedication, that kind of work and sacrifice for our Tribe, our wonderful, diverse family of Paths. It is an incredible offering, and I get teary just thinking about it.
Opening Ritual at Frederick Pagan Pride Day 2017
Secondly, an enormous thanks to our workshop presenters, ritual leaders and performers. All the work of the staff of Frederick Pagan Pride Day comes to nothing without content. I am so grateful to the members of our Pagan family who chose to share their wisdom, gifts, talents and vision with us. Their contributions filled our village-for-a-day with love, joy and beauty. Deep gratitude to our ritual groups: the opening ritual was led by Frederick CUUPS members and volunteers. Our Mabon ritual was led by the Proto-Demos Potomac Valley Palladium of Hellenion and our closing ritual was led by Hallowed Ground of ADF.
Deep gratitude to our keynote speaker and workshop presenters! Hail to Gwendolyn Reece, Michael Smith, Tracy L. Wright, Rachel Elizabeth, Lora Powell-Haney and our Children’s Area coordinators Andrea LaVertu and Ashley Samantha Finucane! You brought so much illumination with you into our festival – you are such a gift to this Tribe! I hope you know how loved you are, and how respected your Work is.
Deep gratitude to our performers: Stephen Darnell and Sea Raven, the other members of Kindred Crow, and Pyrophoric. Thank you for sharing your light, laughter and incredible gifts with us.
Third to our vendors and groups! I was simply overwhelmed by the variety and quality of your incredible offerings. Thank you for traveling to Frederick to offer your goods to the Tribe! We loved having you as our Festival Family, and hope you will return again, year after year.
The Village at Frederick Pagan Pride Day 2017
Thank you to all the local organizations and groups who came out to share your Paths with us! Part of what I love most about the Pagan community is our diversity, and I am so grateful to you for showcasing that so perfectly.
Fourth, to our sponsors. Festival infrastructure is not free, and we are so grateful for all the help. Four Quarters Farm, The Dapper DJs and Naimah and Troupe Amandari – we quite literally could not have done this without you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.
Lastly, and most importantly, to the community. Yes, you. Thank you for coming to Frederick Pagan Pride Day. Thank you for bringing the best of yourself, for wearing your spirituality on your sleeve, for sharing your time, energy and excitement with us. You are why we do this. Thank you for coming together as one Blessed Community, one Tribe, one People.
Sea Raven and Stephen Darnell performing at Frederick Pagan Pride Day 2017
Our Tribe was around 500 people yesterday (we physically counted 480, but during the day’s peak, a lot of people bypassed the welcome booth). We raised over 573 pounds of food for the Frederick Food Bank. That’s over a pound of food per person that will help people right here, in our own community. That’s some amazing magick, my friends. It’s incredible what we can accomplish together.
I love you all so much. I am grateful beyond words. And I can’t wait till next year. If you would like to be a part of our team, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The 2018 Frederick Pagan Pride Day will be on Saturday, September 15th. Frederick CUUPS hosts A Midwinter Night’s Dream Masquerade Ball (also known as Pagan Prom) on Saturday, January 6th, to benefit Frederick Pagan Pride Day. Attending the ball is not only fun, it supports next year’s PPD! And as always, Frederick CUUPS offers programming throughout the year – monthly Earth Centered Spirituality Services, Full Moon Labyrinth Walks, High Holiday Rituals, workshops and courses. Here’s a link if you’re interested in learning more.
Stay proud, stay strong, stay in touch ❤
Irene Glasse (head purple person)