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Pride Festival kicks off in Minneapolis

June 22, 2019 06:55 PM

The 2019 Twin Cities Pride Festival kicked off Saturday morning in Minneapolis.

The festivities are set up in Loring Park, and nearly 400,000 people are expected to attend the celebration, which runs Saturday and Sunday.

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The park has 400 vendors, including 40 food vendors, as well as music and other entertainment, and the parade on Sunday.

The celebration was actually moved up a week so it didn't conflict with the events next weekend in New York City for the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.

Kathy and Wanda Horner-Carlson have seen the movement change over their lifetimes. Kathy was born the week of the riots.

“It shows how far we’ve come,” said Kathy Horner-Carlson. “Instead of having riots and stuff in order to be who we are, we have just a huge celebration.”

This is the fourth year they’ve attended the festival.

“I like seeing all of the people just being able to be themselves and not having to worry about any kind of hate,” said Kathy.
“Everyone is just so full of love."

For Wanda, “It makes me excited that when our grandkids get old enough we’ll be able to bring them.”

There was one spot in the packed park that kept holding people up. It was a group of parents, reaching out with open arms.

“It usually means more to us, we get more out of it,” said Brenna McDowell, from Champlain.

She held a sign that said “Free Mom Hugs” offering support to those who need it.

It’s the first year this group is at Twin Cities Pride. They set up two locations.

“The girl who just walked up a second ago, she’s like I can’t get a hug from my own mom,” said Carri Woog of Saveage. “That’s why we’re here.”

She told us it’s also a way to honor her brother and his partner, who have passed away

“Every holiday we would go down to their house in Houston and it was my brother and his partner and all of their friends that couldn’t go home for the holidays because their families wouldn’t accept them,” she said.

The group plans to attend every Twin Cities Pride festival from now on.

For a list of events and a map of Loring Park, click here. You can also find other information on the festival here.

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KSTP & Callan Gray

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