If you go

What: Equality Fest

When: Noon to 8 p.m. Aug. 3

Where: Cherry Lane Park in York

Cost: Free

Parking: Available for free in the city garages

For more information, visit www.equalityfestyork.com or Equality Fest 2014 on Facebook.



Sue Harmon and Amy Lippert have been preparing for their big day.

They applied for their marriage license last month at the York County courthouse.

Rings Amy Lippert and Sue Harmon bought while on a cruise in the 1990’s that will be used during their marriage at York Equality Fest in York, Sunday
Rings Amy Lippert and Sue Harmon bought while on a cruise in the 1990's that will be used during their marriage at York Equality Fest in York, Sunday July 27, 2014. Paul Kuehnel - Daily Record/Sunday News

They have been shopping and selecting the outfits they will wear.

They pulled out bands they had bought in St. Thomas and had them polished and inscribed with the date of Aug. 3, 2014.

The couple, who has been together for 23 years, will tie the knot during a group wedding ceremony at Equality Fest in downtown York. Mayor Kim Bracey will be officiating.

Harmon and Lippert are excited about being part of the first arts, culture and community festival in York that celebrates equality and inclusion for everyone. The festival was born after a federal judge overturned a same-sex marriage ban in May.

"I'm just going to cry because of the power of it," Lippert said. "There's no words."


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Video: "The more you acknowledge people, the more they're part of the fabric of society" Together 23 years, Sue Harmon and Amy Lippert will marry at Equality Fest York.

Harmon said getting married in the city is perfect for them. They have had businesses in York, including Health-Thy-Self at Central Market and Sara's Garden in downtown York. They also lived in the city until seven years ago. They now live in Codorus Township.

Amy Lippert, left, and Sue Harmon while on a cruise in the 1990’s.  submitted - Daily Record/Sunday News
Amy Lippert, left, and Sue Harmon while on a cruise in the 1990's. submitted - Daily Record/Sunday News

"We love York City," Harmon said.

Lippert said they want to stand there and be with the city. She talked about York's history and how far it has come.

"York should be extra proud," Lippert said.

The event has grown since its inception, and organizers have pulled together a large-scale festival in just a couple of months. They raised about $5,000 for the first festival, said Carla Christopher, one of the co-chairs.

In addition to the group wedding, which will include five heterosexual and same-sex couples, the festival will include entertainment, food trucks and a children's area, including a bounce house and carnival-type games, Christopher said.

Performers will include the Harrisburg Gay Men's Chorus, the Sabrina Duke Band and Indian Summer Jars.

Vendors and community organizations also will have stands at the festival.

Participants involve all ages, and a variety of organizations will represent inclusion for everyone in all parts of civic life, Christopher said.

Preparations are being made for the wedding ceremony site in Cherry Lane Park. Decorations will include live flowers, co-chair James Sawor said.

"It's going to be a really good event," he said.

A second annual festival for 2015 is already in the works, Christopher said.

People say York is old-fashioned. Nothing ever changes. People are apathetic.

This festival, though, actively disproves that, Christopher said.

"I've never felt so proud to be from York," she said.

Contact Teresa Boeckel at (717) 771-2031.