Sioux Falls Pride week highlights events, history of LGBTQ fight for equality

Local News

June Pride month is a celebration for the LGBTQ community, but it started much differently a half century ago. A series of protests in New York City eventually led to what we consider Pride. In Sioux Falls, that momentous occasion is on the minds of Pride week organizers as they get ready for this week’s big events.

A lot of people know about Saturday’s two big events, a festival in Terrace Park and Sioux Falls Pride’s first ever parade in Downtown Sioux Falls. It takes about a year to make it all happen. 

“We’re definitely in double and triple check mode,” Quinn Kathner, Sioux Falls Pride president, said. 

2019 is no exception.

“We’re about as ready as we can be,” Todd Kruse, Sioux Falls Pride vice president, said. 

There are also events every night this week, including drag bingo, a pub crawl, karaoke, and more. Colorful flags drape parts of Downtown Sioux Falls, signifying LGBTQ Pride week is here.

“It just gives the community the opportunity to come out and celebrate being who they are, being part of the LGBTQ community,” Kruse said.

The expansion of events shows growing support in the city and the country, even though historically that hasn’t always been the case. This year marks 50 years since the Stonewall Riots, a series of protests against a police raid at a gay club in New York City in June 1969.

“It’s kind of the start of the modern fight for equality for LGBTQ rights and I think it’s very important to remember that. It’s not always just about the party,” Kruse said. 

“Historically speaking, the uprising is the start of our liberation for the LGBTQA+ community. I couldn’t think of a better way to memorialize that with our first ever pride parade,” Kathner said.

Though the fight for equality continues, Kruse and Kathner say this week is a celebration for everyone and it’s taken years to get here. 

“No matter how you celebrate your identity, we hope you do it in a positive way and just know we’re here to support that,” Kathner said. 

Saturday’s parade begins at 10 a.m., with the festival in Terrace Park to follow. 

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