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Festivals, parades return to Bangor after a pandemic pause

Bangor Pride 2021 and the Beats & Eats Food Truck Festival drew Mainers downtown for a day filled with food, drink, and pride.

BANGOR, Maine — The scenes in downtown Bangor Saturday looked, for lack of a better word, normal. On a nice Saturday in June, hundreds of folks were once again able to participate in large celebrations.

Bangor Pride 2021 held its main Pride Festival event Saturday afternoon at the Bangor Raceway. Sarah Haas is the Chair of the Bangor Pride parade and said the parade location was chosen for a reason.

"Our goal was to get everybody into a spot where we could have our floats and everything set up. But if folks were worried about COVID they could stay in their cars," Haas said. 

For those reasons, this year's parade was stationary. Businesses, local organizations, and individuals decorated cars or floats and drove around the track. Other floats stayed near the infield where people could wave at the cars driving by.

Credit: NCM

Other Mainers came on foot to check out the parade, celebrate their Pride, and take home some Bangor Pride merchandise. 

Health Equity Alliance, the organization that operates Bangor Pride, is also holding a Drive-In Movie Takeover at the Bangor Drive-In on July 25.

In addition to the parade, live music and drag performances closed out the afternoon at the raceway, but there was more activity happening downtown.

Credit: NCM

The third annual Beats & Eats Food Truck Festival returned to the Bangor waterfront. Two sessions, one in the afternoon and one in the evening, were held to allow for plenty of social distancing

Townsquare Media and Penobscot County, a branch of the County Federal Credit Union, organized and put on Saturday's event.

As one could imagine, local food trucks were parked around the riverfront with the stage, which featured live music from Dom Colizzi and The Altar Boys. 

Q106.5's Scott Miller spent his afternoon shift selling beer tickets but added there is no bad job at the festival because everyone is finally able to get out after the pandemic affected all of us for months. 

Credit: NCM

"It is so nice to get out of the house and enjoy a pretty nice day," he added. "It's a beautiful setting, this park, we need to use this park more because it's great to be out."

The evening session ends at 8 p.m. Saturday.