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Rochester Pride festival prepares for weekend event

Published: May. 18, 2022 at 7:56 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Rochester Pride is returning after a two-year hiatus.

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

The festival is 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Soldiers Field on Saturday, May 21.

Winters said the event will include 80 vendors.

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

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

“The Diversity Council for example is hosting a bystander intervention training where they will give people tips, advice and strategies to use if there are kind of confrontational or problematic interactions happening as a way to be a good ally. Not just for the LGBTQ community, I think it’s applicable for everyone,” Winter said.

Other businesses are also collaborating with Rochester Pride to have pride events for people after the festival ends.

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

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

Robinson is also a festival performer. She’ll be singing at the event.

“It’s a really good chance for not only Rochester as a community but I believe just LGBTQ+ as a community to be able to come together and celebrate again,” she said.

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

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

On Tuesday, Gov. 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 heartening to know that at the state level there’s a lot of awareness of the challenges that are faced by our community,” Winters said.

“I think it’s nice that we get just one day. Let’s go for 365 I suppose,” Robinson said.

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

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

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

Glynner’s Pub is also having 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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