SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When Pride celebrations first began in 2000, Sioux Falls Pride President Matt Neufeld said they were an opportunity for LGBTQ community members to gather in a safe space. Now, Pride celebrations in the city have grown into a month-long celebration with a parade, festival, and other community-sponsored events.

“It’s crazy, we still have so many people reaching out today that want to plan events and want to host events and just want to work with us to get things going. It’s absolutely crazy to see how big it’s grown,” Neufeld said.

Pride celebrations first began in New York City in 1970 following riots at the Stonewall Inn one year earlier.

“There were raids by the police officers and black and other transgender folks and drag queens and such were attacked,” Neufeld explained.

Now, the day is commemorated with marches and festivals every June in cities across the globe including Sioux Falls, Brookings, Vermillion Rapid City, and other South Dakota towns.

Neufeld said that this year’s celebrations in Sioux Falls will include bingo nights, trivia, drag brunches and a Pride night at the Sioux Falls Canaries game on June 15. The parade and festival will be held on Saturday, June 18, in downtown Sioux Falls.

The parade will begin at 8th Street and Dakota Avenue and continue down the street ending at 8th and Railroad Center where the festival will be held.

“We think it’s going to work out well– Plenty of room for vendors, stage for performers, food vendors,” Neufeld said.

At the festival there will be a family and kids’ area along with drag performances, singers, games for all ages. Neufeld said that America’s Got Talent Brody Ray, who is transgender, will perform both at Pride and later that evening at Levitt at the Falls as well as an appearance from Widow Von Do from RuPaul’s Drag Race.

This year’s Pride celebrations come after months of anti-LGBTQ legislation from legislatures across the country. In South Dakota, Governor Kristi Noem signed a transgender athlete ban into law and there has been controversy over ‘Safe Space’ signs in school districts in the state.

“It means more and more every year the more and more we get attacked– the community gets attacked like this, the more and more we feel the need to celebrate who we are and continue to fight for equal rights,” Neufeld said.

Sioux Falls Pride events across Sioux Falls

Compared to previous years, Neufeld said they have seen an increase in support from businesses and restaurants across Sioux Falls that want to partner with Sioux Falls Pride on events during Pride Month. That includes Full Circle Book Co-op that sells Pride merch year-round in collaboration with Sioux Falls Pride.

Here’s a full list of Pride events throughout the month:

  • Queer Youth Poetry Night at Full Circle Book Co-op | June 5
  • Adults Game Night & Karaoke at Average Joe’s | June 11
  • Veauxdevil Cabaret Pride Kickoff Show at Club David | June 11
  • Family Gaming at Average Joe’s | June 12
  • Pride Night at the Canaries | June 15
  • Two-Spirit Wacipi at Sioux Falls Multi-Cultural Center | June 16
  • Drag Bingo and talent drag show at Club David | June 17
  • Pride Parade and Festival at 8th and Railroad | June 18
  • Brody Ray at Levitt Shell | June 18
  • Pride Poetry for All at Full Circle Book Co-op | June 18
  • Pride Afterparty | June 18
  • Drag Brunch at DaDa Gastropub | June 19
  • Family Bingo at Full Circle Book Co-op | June 19