Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County.More >>
Two elementary schools were directly impacted by a massive tornado in the Oklahoma City area on Monday. It brings to mind a storm from a 1996 tornado which destroyed the Allardt Elementary School in Fentress County. More >>
KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Knoxville's celebration of gay and lesbian culture - Pridefest - takes place Saturday. One of the highlights is the parade down Gay Street.
Club Exile co-owner Matthew Lambert was getting ready Friday for the parade. "We are going to have a float to show off Club Exile and to just celebrate pride," he said.
The addition of Knoxville Mayor Madeline Rogero to this year's parade may attract an even larger crowd than before.
"I think it will be different, but we are still going to celebrate our pride and being out, gay pride, men and women in this community. I'm very thankful she's celebrating that with us," Lambert said.
This year's pride parade is double the size from last year, with 42 groups participating. That includes eight churches and three gay-straight alliance groups from local high schools. Organizers are expecting up to 4,000 people.
This year the parade will also have its first grand marshal, Martha Boggs, the owner of Bistro on the Bijou.
"I'm just thrilled to death that I've done enough for the gay community to be the grand marshal because a lot of people have done a lot," Boggs said. :It's a big honor."
Boggs gained national attention when she kicked state Sen. Stacey Campfield (R-Knoxville) out of her restaurant over remarks on AIDS and homosexuality.
Even though the mayor is riding in the parade, members of the gay community who spoke to 6 News say there's still a lot to be done to gain acceptance in Knoxville."
"They are the last demographic where it is okay to discriminate again them," Boggs said. "So I hope this is their chance to be treated with the same rights as you and me."
"I think we are making a turn in the corner, that's the best way to say it," Lambert said. "But I still feel we have a long way to go with gay marriage, gay and lesbian marriage, equal rights, hopefully that's coming. We'll see."
The Knoxville Pridefest parade will go down Gay Street at 3:00 p.m. Saturday. More events will be held on Market Square all day.