On Saturday, June 17, Sioux Falls held their Pride Festival at Terrace Park. Many people ventured out in the spurts of rain to enjoy being amongst the fun. There was a sense of unity and belonging for those in the LGBT+ community; it was such a beautiful feeling. Seeing the various flags representing different groups from the community was grand. There was your classic rainbow flag, but flags such as the bisexual flag and transgender flag were present. Many people sported their flags; whether they were using them as capes, painting them on their faces, or wearing clothes with their flag’s colors.
There was a variety of booths at the festival. Many booths offered information on topics such as LGBT+ rights, STDs, suicide, and many more. Many booths offered items for free, items like rainbow bracelets, rainbow sweatbands, pamphlets, pens, highlighters, chapsticks, and condoms. There was a booth for kids that allowed for crafts to be made, and another that had paper and paints for painting your own flag. Another attraction for the children was a bounce house, which sat near the crafts area. Flags, cups, stickers, pins, clothes, and jewelry designed with LGBT+ flags were also being sold at the event. If you were like me and had no cool rainbow gear, then this was the place to stock up on tons of it.
Down over at the stage, food and drinks were being sold. On the stage was a rainbow banner which read “#SUFUPRIDE”. Speakers stood on stage and spoke, performers played music, and drag shows were held. There also was an American Sign Language interpreter present. The drag shows were an exciting experience full of music and talented drag queens, and a drag king, showing off their talented dance moves and lip syncing skills. A performer dressed as Hulk Hogan even joined the stage for a bit. Overall, it was a fantastic time. An important thing I learned from the drag show was to tip the queens and kings. They deserve that money for all their amazing talent.
This was my first Pride, and it was an amazing experience. The feeling of happiness that I felt was extreme. I felt like a dog in a dinosaur skeleton exhibit. There was so much to see, learn, and buy. It also felt so open, like I could be true to myself. The area of the park that the event was held was packed. Many people from different generations were there: elders, adults, children, and babies. The amount of dogs there was astounding, as well. It was an event for families, friends, for everyone in the LGBT+ people, and their supporters. Definitely a unifying experience for LGBT+ community of Sioux Falls.
I highly recommend that all LGBT+ people, their families, friends, and supporters around the Sioux Falls area should venture down to Pride next year. It is an experience you will never forget. It is an event full of fun, love, and acceptance; an event to be who you are.