Couples Marry At Duluth-Superior Pride Festival

Posted at: 08/31/2013 10:07 PM
Updated at: 09/01/2013 5:51 PM
By: Laurie Stribling

A festival in the Twin Ports took on a very different tone Saturday; it was the first Duluth-Superior Pride since same-sex marriage was legalized earlier this month.

Supporters there had a lot to celebrate, but for one couple the festival turned into one of the most important days of their lives.

"I'm very excited," Rob Denk of St. Cloud said. "Excited for this day being able to get married."

Denk and Richard Swenson have been together for 15 years, and Saturday they tied the knot at Duluth-Superior Pride's wedding tent.

"Gay marriage is legal now and people are coming to show their support for that," Duluth-Superior Pride Co-Chair Matt Reeves said. "It's been a long road, but it's definitely worth it."

The change gave people at Pride a new reason to celebrate.

"Last year was very different," Annette Strom said. "We were wearing our 'vote no' shirts and this year we're celebrating."

Organizers said Pride is also a great place for kids.

"It's a very family-friendly atmosphere," Reeves said. "We have about 60 vendors down here."

While the festival had entertainment of all sorts, the wedding tent stole the show for some people.

"Liberating, finally getting the opportunity to be with the person that I love," Swenson said.

Swenson and Denk were the first couple to get married at the wedding tent Saturday.

The Duluth-Superior Pride parade is Sunday at noon in Superior. It starts at the intersection of Broadway and Oakes.