Sioux Falls Pride to host parade and festival next weekend

Published: Jun. 12, 2022 at 8:31 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -It’s pride month, and all across the nation cities and towns are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

Sioux Falls will be holding its fourth annual festival and pride parade next weekend.

Kris Wilka will be a freshman next year at Harrisburg High School.

He is transgender and hopes his experiences can help highlight the importance of acceptance.

“My mom and her fiancé, they met a while ago when I was about eight and I completely changed his view on transgender people. He thought I was going to be a freak, he said. He thought I was going to have pink hair and stuff like that. And there is nothing wrong with that, but it’s just how he viewed the community, and he was completely surprised by what he saw. I feel like a lot of people have that misconception about the community,” said parade grand marshal, Kris Wilka.

He says Pride Month gives the LGBTQ+ community a chance to be celebrated and feel welcome in the communities they live in.

“Pride is a time for people to be whatever they want and express themselves however they want,” said Wilka.

Kris is this year’s grand marshal for the Sioux Falls Pride Parade. He is excited to step into the role and help bring people together.

“I hope they enjoy themselves first and foremost and that they talk to a couple people that maybe you wouldn’t approach normally,” said Wilka.

Cody Ingle, an organizer of the parade, says representation is especially important right now, with ongoing legislation regarding transgender rights.

“Especially when you look at the state of South Dakota, often times the trans community is the target of a lot of the legislation and the attacks that happen and so for us at pride it’s important that we recognize that and that we bring voices forward that are a part of that community,” said parade organizer, Cody Ingle.

Ingle encourages everyone to show up to this year’s pride events despite their beliefs.

“We have the parade at 10:00, it’s always a great time, we have thousands of people lines down the street and it’s just a celebration of love and the festival is 11:00 to 5:00 and that is again a very family friendly event. So, we encourage everyone to come whether you’re a part of the community, whether you’re an ally,” said Ingle.

For more information on the events happening, you can follow the link at Events | Sioux Falls Pride

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