Blocks of Mankato residents lined the streets as the pride parade participants marched down handing out numerous amount of goodies such as candy and rainbow fans.
The Mankato Pride Parade took place on Saturday, Sept. 8, making it Mankato’s 17th pride parade and festival.
Many organizations, schools, churches, individuals, etc. took a part in the pride parade this year. Moms marched along and gave out free hugs to many who needed them.
The Mankato Area Derby Girls skated through showing the crowd their tricks, followed by members of the Govenaire’s band and color guard.
Mankato State University’s LGBT Center also took part in the parade. Many students decked out in pride gear held signs stating “Love is Love” , “Love Knows No Limits”, and the LGBT Center banner, while others handed out candy, bags and flyers to the crowd.
Other departments in Mankato State also marched in the parade such as: MNSU’s department of Gender and Women’s Studies, MNSU’s department of Social Work, and MNSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance.
After the parade ended, a festival began right after in Riverfront Park. There were many food trucks, stands selling pride merchandise, informational booths, and even a bouncy house.
Many performances also took place from bands such as Irie Minds, Still Jammin, and Hootenay Annie’s took the stage and jammed out as the crowd danced below.
A group of belly dancers from Satori Violet entertained the crowd with their mystical dance moves and helped facilitate a marriage proposal in front of a live audience.
One of the main highlights was the Gender Bender Drag show, with drag queen Gosh Alice Jones as emcee.
Performers included MNSU’s very own Luna Muse who performed at last year’s pride festival. Chanel East Coast, a Mankato resident of seven years, also took the stage while lip syncing to Miley Cyrus.
The Rose Dynasty: Princess Blue Rose, Aniyah Rose, and Luscious Rose, local drag queens from the Twin Cities, were the last of performers as they got the crowd throwing their dollar bills.
Mankato’s pride parade was a success, bringing not only Mankato residents, but Minnesotans from all over.
Andrew Martinez-Weldon, a Rochester resident when asked why pride is important to him says, “In times like this, especially with the government and everything, I feel like pride is important because it shows that we are here and that we made it.”
Feature photo by Maria Ly/MSU Reporter.