Sioux City residents will be celebrating LGBTQ Pride Month downtown late today with the northwestern Iowa city’s first-ever Pride Parade.
The Siouxland Pride Alliance organized the event. Vice president Karen Mackey says the community rallied around the idea to make it happen.
“It’s a level of acceptance that the gay community, the LGBTQ community, can actually have a parade and be accepted,” Mackey says. “This is a very conservative part of Iowa and Sioux City’s a fairly conservative community, but it’s great, we’re going to have it.”
Mackey says onlookers can expect to see a wide variety of local businesses and community leaders in the parade. She says she hopes it shows LGBTQ people just how much support they really have.
Don Dew, president of the Siouxland Pride Alliance, says the inaugural event shows how much the western Iowa community has progressed in the last decade.
“Say, 10 years ago, there would have been backlash, trying to do this,” Dew says. “There was not the acceptance and tolerance, and you need both.”
The parade is scheduled to begin at 6 PM. It’s just one of many events the community is hosting to celebrate pride this weekend, including a festival and a prom.
Dew says he wants people to leave with lots of candy and knowing the community supports them.
(Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio)