INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Thousands of people are expected in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday for the Indy Pride Parade and the Indy Pride Festival.
After two years without an in-person festival or parade due to coronavirus, the two events are back and ready to highlight and uplift the LGBTQ community.
Organizers waited until January to start preparations because of uncertainty around COVID-19, says Shelly Snider, executive director of Indy Pride.
“It typically takes about 12 months to make sure that the festival and all of our 22 events happen in May and June. This time…we started in January,” Snider said. “There was still so much uncertainty with COVID-19 that we were not even sure if we could be in person.”
The fun starts with the Indy Pride Parade on Massachusetts Avenue at 10 a.m. Hundreds of participants will celebrate the LGBTQ community and compete for awards including best float, best decorated vehicle, best use of Pride colors, and best float or decorated vehicle featuring drag performers.
The parade will be followed by one of the biggest parties of the year — the Indy Pride Festival at Military Park.
“It starts at 11 a.m. and goes to 11 p.m.,” Snider said. “We have three stages and over 40 different performing acts. We have over 200 vendors and a couple of little surprises happening here and there.”
The entertainment lineup includes live music, two drag shows, and a drag queen story hour. Tickets for the Indy Pride Festival can be purchased online and start at $7.
Snider says Indy Pride is expanding the scope of these and other events and reaching out to new audiences.
“When you think of the gay population, a lot of times, what comes to people’s minds is white gay men, and so we wanted to make sure that people know that the LGBTQ-plus population is all sorts of people. It’s men, it’s women, it’s nonbinary people. It’s people of color. It’s people with disabilities.”
Visit the Indy Pride website for a full list of upcoming events.