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Montgomery County Partners with LGBTQ+-Led Arts and Culture Group to Sponsor Third Annual ‘Pride in the Plaza’ on Sunday, June 25, in Silver Spring

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, May 17, 2023

In honor of Pride Month, Montgomery County will partner with Live in Your Truth Programs, a local LGBTQ+ arts and culture organization, to host its third annual “Pride in the Plaza” event from noon-8 p.m. on Sunday, June 25. Pride in the Plaza is an outdoor LGBTQ+ pride festival at Downtown Silver Spring’s Veterans Plaza. 

Pride in the Plaza will feature an LGBTQ+ focused resource and vendor fair, a bilingual Drag Story Hour and the championship finale of “Live in Your Truth Program’s Drag Duels” series. The day will conclude with the third annual Pride in the Plaza Mini-Ball, a free voguing competition with cash prizes.  The mini-ball competition, sponsored in partnership with the Capitol Ballroom Council, will begin at 5 p.m.

Veterans Plaza is located at 1 Veterans Place in Silver Spring. Free parking is available in the Ellsworth Drive parking garage adjacent to the plaza. The event is free, and registration is optional. Free tickets are available at

“Hosting this annual event is one way to reaffirm our commitment to making Montgomery County a welcoming place for everyone,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “The current political and social climate around issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community demands that we speak loudly and clearly about the values we live by in our community.”

“We are excited to partner with Live in Your Truth Programs on Pride in the Plaza,” said Melvin Cauthen, administrator for the County’s HIV/STI program, which is part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

The HIV/STI program created the festival in 2021 and continues to support the event.

“Through this partnership, our hope is to create a sustainable yearly Pride festival that supports LGBTQ+ community programing throughout the year,” said Mr. Cauthen.

“In a moment of national hostility toward trans communities, drag and other LGBTQ+ artforms, it is especially important to provide safe spaces for members of the community to boldly and joyfully connect and express who they are,” said Philip Alexander Downie, director of Live in Your Truth Programs.  “The organization is uniquely positioned to take on programing for Pride in the Plaza because of our longstanding commitment to uplifting LGBTQ+ artists and performers, especially those who identify as trans, gender expansive, Black, Indigenous and other people of color and Montgomery County’s explicit support for our community is more critical now than ever.”

MoCo Pride Center, whose mission is to organize, support, educate and provide outreach to the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, is the financial sponsor of Live in Your Truth programs.

Vendors and nonprofits can register for exhibit table opportunities here. Some event tables will be offered on a sliding-scale. More information is here.

Businesses interested in sponsorship opportunities for Pride in the Plaza can learn more here.

Organizers are seeking community volunteers to work at the event. Those interested can register here for various shifts.

In honor of National HIV Testing Day (June 27), the County will offer HIV and other health screenings inside the Silver Spring Civic Building during the Pride in the Plaza festival. The HIV/STI program provides free HIV testing and treatment, low-cost PrEP for prevention, STI testing and treatment and free HIV medical care and case management at the Dennis Avenue Health Center. Call 240-777-1760 to make an appointment or visit for more information.

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Media Contact: Emily Brown, 240-773-1172, or


Release ID: 23-215
Media Contact: Emily Brown 240-773-1172
Categories: Health