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Greenwood to host its first Pride event at city park

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — This Johnson County city on the Indianapolis southern border is preparing to host its first Pride event.

Local community organization Pride and Progress is behind the first Pride Block Party. Come Saturday afternoon, the parking lot at Craig Park will transform to host food vendors, live music, and family-friendly activities.

Organizers say the timing just felt right.

Matthew Smith, director of Pride and Progress, said, “It was just the year. We were going to do something in 2020 and then that didn’t happen obviously so this was the year.”

Not only will the event be a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community, but it will also be a celebration of progress within the city. John Jones, a Greenwood Pride member, said, “I grew up in Greenwood. I graduated from Greenwood High School in ’91 and I remember back then it was very intimidating. I felt very much like it was a small town and I had to be careful.”

Jones says a lot has changed since then; organizers hope to prove that on Saturday at their opening ceremony where Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers will help cut the rainbow ribbon to kick off the event.

“Not only did the mayor say he would be here, but it was a pretty quick response. He didn’t have to think about it. He said, ‘I will be there.’ And that meant the world to me because it proved to me that not only does Mayor Myers care about our city but he cares about all of the residents who reside here regardless of who they love,” Jones said.

Over the years, city leaders say Greenwood has become more and more diverse. Organizers of the Pride Block Party hope to celebrate that diversity and show people in the community that they are not alone. “Greenwood is opening itself up to being a great place to live for the LGBTQ+ community. For people of color, it is really opening up,” Smith said.

He added, “We wanted to do something that we thought would be family-friendly and a way to meet your neighbors and hopefully have a good time.”

The Pride Block Party will run from noon-5 p.m. Saturday 5 at Craig Park. The park is east of U.S. 31, South Madison Avenue and South Meridian Street at 10 E. Smith Valley Road. Proceeds will benefit Trinity Haven, a shelter for LGBTQ+ youths who are experiencing homelessness in central Indiana.

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