Summer in Carroll County has always offered endless opportunities to get outside and have some fun with carnivals and fairs and festivals. For the last couple of years, we’ve been unsure what public events we can plan for and have had to navigate cancellations, restrictions and hybrid events. At the risk of jinxing everything, I really do feel like 2022 is the summer that Carroll County will feel like itself again, at least according to the event schedule.
I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in being very excited at the prospect of seeing our Main Streets closed down for events that include a lot of people celebrating and spending locally and engaging with their community. There are a couple of relatively new events I’m especially looking forward to.
There has been a lot of talk about rainbows this year, and a lot of public discourse around diversity and inclusion in our community. This year downtown Westminster will host the third annual Pride Festival on July 9. The first year this event was held I worried that the community wouldn’t embrace an event meant to show acceptance of and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. But the event was a success. Check out the story on page 30 to learn more about the organization behind the festival and the other work they are doing in the community.
Just last year Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, became a federal holiday, and this year Carroll County will see its first contemporary public celebration of the event on Main Street in Westminster on June 18. The Arts Council and the surrounding area will come alive with food trucks, music, a theater production, a panel discussion, children’s activities, gospel singing and more. Find details on page 27.
I realize these events may feel political to some, and people may avoid them just because the events stand for something. But there’s a bigger picture here. It’s no secret that Carroll County generally lacks diversity, and we could write volumes about why that is and the impact it has. But having events like these festivals gives us an opportunity to show that we are working on it. It sends the message, to folks here and elsewhere, that we are listening, we are learning, we are having tough conversations, and we are taking a moment to celebrate progress.
I look forward to celebrating, and learning, at these events and the dozens of other events that bring our community together for fun and to support our neighbors, including firefighters (carnivals), our agriculture community (4-H Fair), and local businesses (Main Street events). Other events will celebrate the arts (Art in the Park), history (Civil War Encampment) and culture (Celtic Festival). Check out the calendar on page 26 to get a sampling of some of the fun planned this summer.
I realize not everyone is ready to be in crowds again, but I do look forward to running into people around town this summer as we start to emerge from our COVID cocoons. Take advantage of all the fun that Carroll County has to offer in these warm weather months and let us know about undiscovered events and activities at firstname.lastname@example.org.