SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Saturday brought excitement to downtown Sioux Falls as people gathered to celebrate and show support for the LGBTQ+ community.
“I just love seeing everybody so happy that we can all love each other for who we are,” Pride attendant Bella Ford said.
“Pride is, it’s all about celebration,” Matt Newfield, president of Sioux Falls Pride said. “It’s thanking the people that came before us that fought for our rights and it’s keeping that going for the future generations as well.”
A little rain didn’t stop the rainbows from shining for the Pride celebrations in Sioux Falls. The second-ever Pride parade was followed by the Pride festival in its new, larger location at Cherapa Place.
“Two years ago, we were named one of the fastest-growing, largest Prides in the world by some LGBT publications so to see this, still going, in the rain, it’s amazing,” Newfield said. “I can’t even think of a word to say.”
The festival moved because it outgrew its former location at Terrace Park. The Cherapa parking lot had food, vendors, rainbows, a drag show and free hugs.
“It’s really unfortunate that there are kids still kicked out of their houses when they come out and things like that, so, for me, it’s an opportunity to show them that they have the love of a mom,” Audrey Harrington, who was giving out Free Mom Hugs said.
“Pride Month, to me, is more acceptance and it’s just the entirety of you love who you love and it doesn’t matter who you love, it doesn’t matter your skin color, who you are, I think it’s better to just be you as long as you’re not hurting anybody,” Ford said.
Last year the Pride festivities were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.