Sioux Falls Pride adds long awaited pride parade to pride festival

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KSFY) - The Sioux Falls Pride Organization has announced its first ever pride parade in downtown Sioux Falls. It will be held June 15th along Phillips Avenue.

Organizers encourage people to cheer on participants as they celebrate the LGBT community in Sioux Falls.

Quinn Kathner with the Sioux Falls Pride Organization said this will be a time to celebrate and highlight the LGBT community.

Members of the Sioux Falls Pride Organization have wanted to get a pride parade going for years. They feel they're finally at the point where they could take the leap to make it happen.

"It's been a process to get it up and going but really at the end of the day we just followed the procedure that was set in place and we were treated equally as any other event like this would be treated," Kathner said.

Kathner said the parade is a great way to celebrate. More than 8,000 people are expected to attend the festival this year.

"We're a first year with the parade. Overall, the tone is exciting and we look forward to working out the details as they come but we're overall very prepared and very ready to celebrate for our LGBTQIA+ community and it's all about visibility," Kathner added.

The parade will feature floats and people walking while celebrating what the LGBT community means to them. This new event is also great for businesses in downtown.

"Our mission is to bring more people downtown and to get more foot traffic and of course a parade is a fantastic way to get more people here and have them walking downtown visiting shops and visiting restaurants," Downtown Sioux Falls Communications Coordinator, Sadie Swier said.

Kathner said at the end of the day it's all about bringing people into the city and making the LGBT community more visible.

"In terms of having any negative feedback I think that we're just really focused on the positivity and putting on an event that’s specifically for our community and to benefit the business owners down here in Sioux Falls," Kathner said.

Cities like Omaha, Minneapolis and Des Moines just to name a few in our area have also celebrated with a parade for several years now. It's a way to bring new people to Sioux Falls.