Rochester Pride festival gears up for weekend event

ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester Pride returns after a two-year hiatus.

“I think everyone is excited,” said Rochester Pride board member Julie Winters.

The festival will take place from noon to 5 p.m. at Soldiers Field on Saturday, May 21.

Winters said the event will feature 80 vendors.

“Tons and tons of vendors ranging from artists to local nonprofits, to statewide nonprofits, to local businesses,” she said. “Six vendors have lined up to serve food and alcohol that will be here and they’re all locals.”

The Pride celebration also includes five musical performances and educational booths.

“The Diversity Council, for example, is running bystander intervention training where they will give people tips, advice and strategies to use in the event of conflicting or problematic interactions as a way to be a good ally. . Not just for the LGBTQ community, I think it applies to everyone,” Winter said.

Other companies also work with Rochester Pride to organize pride events for people after the festival is over.

Little Thistle Brewing Co. is hosting Pride Trivia on its outdoor patio from 6-8 p.m.

“I think it’s just important to show that as a brewery we have a safe space and welcome everyone,” said Audrey Robinson, dining manager. “Be who you are as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone else around you. Who cares?”

Robinson is also a festival performer. She will sing at the event.

“It’s a very good chance not only for Rochester as a community, but I believe only the LGBTQ+ community can come together and celebrate again,” she said.

According to the FBI, one in five reported hate crimes is against LGBTQ+ people.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights reports that in 2019, 31 charges of discrimination were brought against people due to an individual’s actions against a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.

On Tuesday, Governor Tim Walz signed a proclamation making May 17, 2022, “Minnesota Say Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.”

“I think it’s great. It’s fantastic to have a governor who really cares about our community. It’s very encouraging to know that at the state level there is a great awareness of the challenges our community faces,” Winters said.

“I think it’s good that we only have one day. Let’s go for 365, I guess,” Robinson said.

Robinson and Winters also shared what it means to be a good ally to the LGBTQ+ community.

“It really means just showing up, and letting it be seen and your voice heard that you’re there for them,” Robinson said.

“Being a good ally just means supporting your LGBTQ friends and family. One of the best ways to be an ally is to come to Rochester Pride this weekend. Bring your kids, bring your friends, and just be visible and show your support for our community,” Winter said.

Glynner’s Pub is also hosting a “Pride After Dark” celebration from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. It’s a 21+ event that includes a live DJ.

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