LGBT Community Celebrates at Twin Cities Pride Festival
Updated: 07/01/2013 9:33 PM KSTP.com
By: Stephen Tellier
The Twin Cities Pride Festival is always a celebration. But this year -- and especially this week -- there's a whole lot more for the gay and lesbian community to celebrate.
The Beer Dabbler officially opened the pride festival Friday night. It may have looked somewhat subdued, but don't be fooled -- the kickoff to this year's Pride Festival is brimming with pent-up excitement that's been brewing for years.
"It's very upbeat, especially this year," Mary Keogh, who attended the festival on Friday night, said.
"It's going to be a huge celebration. People are just going to be like, 'This is a year to celebrate,'" Suzie Levy, another attendee, said.
The Pride Festival is always a huge downtown draw. But this year, it's doubling as a kind of victory party.
"Everything is coming together for us, and it's really a time to celebrate," Keogh said.
The festivities follow Minnesota's legalization of gay marriage last month and the Supreme Court's Defense of Marriage Act and Prop 8 reversals earlier this week. The developments have many in the gay and lesbian community wondering if it's all been a dream.
"I never thought I would see it in my lifetime," Keogh said.
Recent Pride Festivals have been politically charged as the state grappled with the issue of gay marriage. But people are predicting a very different atmosphere this time around.
"I think people have come out in the past to just celebrate pride, but now they're going to celebrate who they are," Donna Luttrell, another attendee, said.
And Friday night, there was certainly enough beer flowing for a few thousand celebratory toasts.
"Now we can be out and open, and love who we want, and marry who we want, and be happy," Keogh said.
The festival continues all day on Saturday and Sunday. There will be music, fireworks, a parade, and a whole lot more.