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Indy Pride Parade draws thousands, fills downtown with a sea of colors

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Saturday was the 2023 Indy Pride Parade and Festival, and thousands of people filled downtown Indianapolis streets with waves of color.

Organizers say that this year’s parade was bigger than ever, with more than 180 groups walking in the parade Saturday morning, including some familiar faces from News 8.

This year, the parade took a new extended route that offered more places for people to see the parade. Executive Director of Indy Pride Shelly Snider says this was an important addition to keep the Pride celebration growing.

“Just last night, I got some hate mail that said I need to stop going on TV and saying this is a celebration and we need to welcome people. That just says to me that we need (the celebrations) more than ever,” Snider said.

News 8 also spoke with some members of the American Veterans for Equal Rights group. They shared with News 8 that while Pride is about having a good time, it means even more than that.

Travis Drayer with the group says that many people don’t understand that everyone is at Pride to have a good time and celebrate.

“We’re here to celebrate who we are. Stonewall Riots did it for us – we’re continuing that legacy,” Drayer said.

Kim Saylor, another member of the group said, “Honestly, if we’re not visible and we’re not out here loud and proud, then hate wins. We’re not going to let that happen.”

Though the parade and festival have passed, there are several Pride events continuing through the month of June. To see a list of Pride events to come, see our listing here.