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Here’s what to know about the Kentuckiana Pride Parade and Festival

Kentuckiana Pride organizers said this year's parade was the largest ever, with 10,000 marchers.
Breya Jones
Kentuckiana Pride organizers said this year's parade was the largest ever, with 10,000 marchers.

More than 10,000 people have registered to march through Nulu Saturday for the Kentuckiana Pride Parade. The parade will start at the corner of Market and Campbell Streets at noon, march down Market and Preston Street before ending at the Kentuckiana Pride Festival in Waterfront Park.

The annual parade and festival started in 2000 with about 5,000 people showing up to the Belvedere Hotel. It’s since expanded to a massive waterfront celebration with upwards of 30,000 attendees.

Rodney Coffman, president of the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation, said the escalation in national and state-level anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric makes Pride events even more important.

“That's one of the reasons we're seeing an even bigger turnout. Obviously people want to show their support,” Coffman said. “When you have things like the surge of hate and stuff like we're having right now, people unite because that's how you have to overcome it.”

The route for the 23rd Kentuckiana Pride Parade
Kentuckiana Pride Foundation
The route for the 23rd Kentuckiana Pride Parade

Coffman said some people are attending Pride for the first time in recent years to stand with the LGBTQ+ community in the face of anti-transgender legislation and waves of homophobia. But most attendees come to Pride to fully express themselves in ways that may feel impossible in everyday life.

“Coming to the festival and being a part of the parade allows you to be yourself for one day and to forget about all the worries in the world,” Coffman said. “We do it one day, in the month of June, but everybody should be doing it 365. And that’s what I hope comes from this.”

The grand marshal of this year’s parade is Louisville Mayor Craig Greenberg. Coffman said that he saw it as a “sign of hope” for the community for further progress and equity in the city.

Registration tomarch in the parade is closed. Tickets for the festival are available online and will be available at the festival gates Saturday. The festival will include two stages for entertainers, a marketplace with more than 150 vendors and a family-friendly area.

River Road from North Preston Street to Frankfort Avenue will be closed from 8 a.m. to midnight on Saturday for the festival. The 100 and 200 blocks of South Wenzel Street and South Campbell Street will be closed starting at 10 a.m. Sections of Market Street and Preston Street and several side roads connecting to the parade route will be closed from noon until the end of the parade at around 3 p.m.

Sylvia is the Capitol reporter for Kentucky Public Radio, a collaboration including Louisville Public Media, WEKU-Lexington, WKU Public Radio and WKMS-Murray. Email her at sgoodman@lpm.org.

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