Pride Fest Draws Crowds
This year's festival follows a week of big legislative decisions for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. On Tuesday, Gov. Blunt signed a bill that makes same sex sexual relations legal and on Thursday the US Senate rejected a constitutional ban on same sex marriages. It's called the Mid-Missouri Pride Fest, but those attending come from all over.
"I drove here from Illinois, it's like a two hour drive," said Wendy Prewitt, who attended Pride Fest for the first time because there is nothing like it offered in Illinois. She hopes the festival will bring awareness and open minds.
"We're here and we're not gonna go nowhere. You can change the law but you can't change our hearts," explained Prewitt.
Pride Fest is usually held at Cosmo Park but because of an increase in attendance this year it's at Stephen's Lake. Officials say if the crowd is large enough next year they'll have a parade. The theme this year is "Pride and prejudice," which some attendees find appropriate.
"I like to say that the community provided the pride and 49 US senators provided the prejudice," said Daniel Hays, the LGBT Coalition president.
Prewitt hopes recent legislative decisions are only the beginning to a more diverse future.
"I think in my lifetime we'll be able to see in every state where we will be able to get married," she said.
Officials say every year the crowd for Pride Fest approximately doubles and expect the crowd to reach 1200 this year.