Sioux Falls, SD – Sioux Falls Pride’s first ever parade drew heavy crowds to Phillips Avenue in downtown.
Many businesses, organizations, and churches marched down the street to the cheers of those lining the sidewalks. Citi Bank, Wells Fargo, and Sephora were among the businesses showing their support by brandishing flags, signs, and beads.
Among them were organizations “Moms Demand Action” and the canine rescue “Almost Home.” “Moms Demand Action” are a non-profit in support of gun control, while “Almost Home Canine Rescue” fosters local dogs and cats in need of adopting.
Mayoral candidate David Zokaites – AKA “David Z” – stood atop a moving vehicle as it drove down Phillips, arms raised as he vocalized support. As far as Sioux Empire Podcast knows, he was the only mayoral hopeful to show up to Pride at all. However, City Councilor Pat Starr did read a resolution from Mayor Tenhaken recognizing the Sioux Falls LGBT Community and declared June as official Pride month. This is the second year in a row Tenhaken has not appeared at the Pride festivities himself.
The parade last about half an hour, during which the festival itself was being set up at Terrace Park. The crowds did not thin there until late into the afternoon, spurred by drag performances, food trucks, and a beer tent provided by local brewery Remedy.
Various booths lined the back of the festival, providing information about STDs, sexual assault, and healthcare. Vendors joined them with voter registration forms as well as other non-profit organizations.
The event itself took place between noon and 4 pm, with people still heading out right at the last second. It was sponsored by multiple companies and organizations including Wells Fargo, Sanford Health, and Vishnu Bunny.
Protestors did show up to the parade and the festival, though it seems, for the most part, they were drowned out by the outpouring of love and support provided by the Sioux Falls community.