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Twin Cities Pride Festival to return in June

While the festival is one weekend in June, planning begins far in advance.
Image by It Takes A Village (courtesy)
Twin Cities Pride Festival is Minnesota’s second largest festival and its biggest free Pride festival.

The annual Twin Cities Pride Festival will be held at the end of Pride Month from June 28-30 at Loring Park in Minneapolis as a celebration of LGBTQ culture and life. 

This year’s festival will feature over 650 vendors consisting of different community resources, artists and businesses, according to the festival’s website.

Twin Cities Pride Festival Executive Director Andi Otto said the theme of this year’s event is Show Your Colors 365. 

“That theme is really centered around wanting to make sure our community knows that they shouldn’t have to just wait until June to be their most authentic self,” Otto said. “They should be their most authentic self 365 days a year.”

Otto said this year’s event will expand the previous year’s youth and pet zone as well as include a THC garden and a Queer Rights space dedicated to LGBTQ authors. 

“We did a book fair a couple months ago and it was really successful at Urban Growler and so we decided to bring it into the park and help uplift some of those writers, especially here in the Twin Cities,” Otto said. 

The youth zone is designed for people under 21 to celebrate in their own space. The pet zone gives people an expanded area to relax with their pets, and the THC garden supports LGBTQ people and people of color who use THC, Otto said. 

Andrew and Libby Mungovan, owners of Drew Moon Arts, a shop selling beeswax and wax play candles, said they are proud to be a part of Pride while bringing joy to customers. 

“One of the coolest experiences has been when a trans person comes up to our booth and says, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s me,’” Libby said. “They’re so excited we have products that represent them.” 

Save the Bottoms!!! founder Elliot Arsoniadis said the LGBTQ community is at greater risk so joining Pride is an important tool in educating a vulnerable group.

“The goal of Save the Bottoms is to educate gay men and transgender women, both living with or without HIV, about their increased risk for anal cancer and help them identify ways to undergo screening,” Arsoniadis said. 

Arsoniadis said at last year’s festival, he offered a private booth where people could get screened for anal cancer. Of the 101 community members who participated, 11 were positive and seven entered the clinic to undergo evaluation and treatment, Arsoniadis added. 

It Takes a Village is an organization dedicated to helping kids become entrepreneurs. Director Dyonyca Conley-Rush said she teaches graphic design and screen printing while her business partner teaches the chemistry behind making wellness products. 

Rush said as a member of the LGBTQ community, it is great to have a place like Pride where people can be openly queer.

“My favorite part of Pride is seeing everyone get together and being able to be themselves and express themselves however they may see fit without judgment,” Rush said. 

Otto said his favorite part about Pride is the sense of belonging during the festival.

“When you walk into that park, you are part of a family and it feels like it,” Otto said. “Nobody cares who you are or what you’re doing or what you’re wearing unless it’s fabulous. They just genuinely want to be happy and find community.” 

Annually, all attendees of Twin Cities Pride can use light rail and bus services to get to Pride for free by printing out the free transit pass on the Pride website, Otto said. 

For more information about specific vendors, transit routes, entertainment and a map of the festival, visit the Twin Cities Pride Website

The current schedule, as of April 29 for Pride is:

  • Friday: Youth Night from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. with the Pride Parade beginning at 11 a.m.
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