Southern Indiana Pride returns in June

May 26—JEFFERSONVILLE — The Southern Indiana Pride Festival is back next weekend.

The event celebrating the LGBTQ community is June 3 at the Big Four Station Park in Jeffersonville.

"We were blown away last year with over 5,000 attendees throughout the entire day and we are hoping to meet that and possibly break that record this year," said founder Evan Stoner.

People can expect local food trucks, vendors, music artists and drag performances at the event. This year's festival will not include a parade.

There's also a beer garden hosted by The Alcove with a special VIP experience available for attendees to purchase. The Center For Women and Families will host a fun zone for families.

"We are a hometown festival and we are new, so this is only our sixth year," Stoner said. "We keep it very positive, and I think the organizations in our community really like that. They want to be part of our organization and meet people where they are and make inroads in the community."

Southern Indiana Pride focuses on meeting people where they are, Stoner said.

"You might not understand completely, but we are human beings and American citizens and we deserve the exact same treatment as everyone else," he said. "...Please come to Southern Indiana Pride and see for yourself what we are about."

A number of local businesses are sponsoring and participating in the event including Wellstone Regional Hospital, Samtech Cares, PNC Bank, the Oxford House and Board and You Bistro.

Stoner said it's important for members of the LGBTQ community to see that support and that he invites allies to attend the event as well.

"To that person who's out there who's scared they aren't going to have acceptance from your family, employer or community, the Pride festival is able to show you that you can," Stoner said. "The biggest and most influential organizations support Pride, so they're 100% behind you."

Southern Indiana Pride Vice President Katie Morgan said there's a kick-off party for Pride at 1:30 p.m. on June 3 at 300 Spring Street.

"There are groups of people who've been outcast and ostracized and we want to show we can be different and we can be an inclusive community," Morgan said. "We want people to feel welcome and to realize people are people. We don't need to itemize people into certain categories of us vs. them, we are all people and should be treated as such."

People from all over the region are invited to the event.

"We like people from Louisville to come over and celebrate," Morgan said. "Having that hometown feel, it makes the community more aware that LGBTQ is everywhere. It's time to bring awareness to diversity."