Record number of participants walk in Kentuckiana Pride Parade

By Mike Fussell

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The Kentuckiana Pride Parade is now in the books, but the celebration continues this weekend.

Festivities will begin at noon on the Big Four Lawn on Saturday.

“It’s very near and dear to my heart," Chad Eddings, the parade co-chair, said. "The city needs the awareness. What we do, it’s just very important to me.”

Organizers said their goal is to provide a forum for creative expression and education related to the LGBTQ community.

This year, the Kentuckiana Pride Parade made history.

Leaders said a record 120 participants signed up and more than 4,000 people walked past the Market Street starting line to the conclusion of the route at the Big Four Bridge.

“We’re out here just to celebrate Pride and all the progress that’s been made in the LGBTQ community and hopefully propel that to the future,” Marshall Kellner, a HIV Services Program Manager at Volunteers of America, said.

That's a future some said they want to make as welcoming as possible for generations to come.

“Believe me, there will be lots of tears because we don’t do this just for the people that came before us, that are able for us to be here today," Mary Radcliffe, the Pride Parade co-chair, said. "We do it for all these young people. All these young people that we just want to be themselves.”

Saturday on the Big Four Lawn, there will be live music, a family fun zone with face painting and bounce houses, a pet area, and a craft beer garden. Admission is $5 and it goes from noon to 11 p.m.

While the festival is scheduled to last through Saturday, an after-Pride celebration cookout will take place Sunday at Chill Bar in the Highlands from 3 to 7 p.m.

All proceeds benefit the Kentuckiana Pride Foundation.

Watch more here.