HELENA- The 26th annual Big Sky Pride parade kicked off Saturday morning, in Helena with its largest crowd yet.
June is national Pride Month, and members of Big Sky Pride spent the month fundraising for their biggest event of the year, the Big Sky Pride Parade.
"Yes, love wins."
There were lots of cheers and love for Montana's LGBTQ community Saturday morning. People of all ages, some in high heels others on scooters were out to show their support for the rainbow.
The parade began at 11 AM at Helena Ave and 11th Ave and people lined the walking mall, to watch the parade. With over 4,000 people in the parade, and 2,500 spectators, this was the largest turnout in Big Sky Pride history.
Aubrey Peterschick, LGBTQ community member said, "This year there were so many people and such support for this community. I'm just amazed every year that it's just so supportive and amazing."
The parade route was roughly half a mile, and after the parade community members gathered at Heritage Pioneer Park for a rally. Drag queens, the grand marshal and well known politicians took the stage to show their support for Big Sky Pride.
…including over 4000 people marching in the parade… pic.twitter.com/IQPQHoXouo— Big Sky Pride (@BigSkypride) June 24, 2019
… with another 2500 watching the parade… pic.twitter.com/41byGMaq3R— Big Sky Pride (@BigSkypride) June 24, 2019
…and we left no trash behind. None. I'm damned proud! pic.twitter.com/RTnNzvjc2D— Big Sky Pride (@BigSkypride) June 24, 2019
Kelli Twoteeth, the parade grand marshal says it's been amazing to see the pride parade and the community support grow each year. "I think I went to my first pride was I was just a baby and there was only a handful of people, so to walk downtown and see rainbows painted in the windows." Twoteeth said, "To see gay agendas everywhere and have everyone come out of the stores and wave to you during the parade was an amazing feeling."
Organizers say the fun and celebration will continue throughout the weekend in Helena.
Twoteeth said, "We have about 67 events from all Montana shops and just to see that grow and our gay agenda be one of the longest in the country, I love it."
The events included a free drag show open to the public at the walking mall at 6th starting at 8 PM, Saturday night.