Knoxville PrideFest draws thousands to World's Fair Park

Knoxville PrideFest draws thousands to World's Fair Park

Posted:
The number of people attending PrideFest has increase from 300 to more than 10,000 since the festival started seven years ago, according to organizers. The number of people attending PrideFest has increase from 300 to more than 10,000 since the festival started seven years ago, according to organizers.
"It's about pride in who you are personally. It's about pride in our community and being proud of who you are and who you love," said Cramer. "It's about pride in who you are personally. It's about pride in our community and being proud of who you are and who you love," said Cramer.
"I was just overwhelmed by the amount of support and people who were here I mean I'm not going to lie I cried a little bit which I think is total acceptable in that situation," said Davis. "I was just overwhelmed by the amount of support and people who were here I mean I'm not going to lie I cried a little bit which I think is total acceptable in that situation," said Davis.

By STEPHANIE BEECKEN
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The number of people attending PrideFest has increase from 300 to more than 10,000 since the festival started seven years ago, according to organizers. 

This is the 5th year Jacob Davis has been to PrideFest and his second year riding in the parade.

"I was just overwhelmed by the amount of support and people who were here I mean I'm not going to lie I cried a little bit which I think is total acceptable in that situation," said Davis.

According to PrideFest organizer Todd Cramer, when the festival started in 2005, 300 people attended and there were also about 100 were protesters.

This year he expects 10,000 people at the festival and no protestors. The location of PrideFest had to move from Market Square to World's Fair Park to accommodate the crowd.

"We didn't want to turn any vendors away and certainly didn't want to turn attendees away so we came down here and we have seen a 20 percent increase in vendors and we have a 50 percent increase in parade entries," said Davis.

This year there will be 50 floats in the parade. Cramer says the increased participation shows a shift in support and acceptance for the LGBT community.

"It's about pride in who you are personally. It's about pride in our community and being proud of who you are and who you love," said Cramer.

Cramer say church participation in PrideFest has also doubled. Saturday morning a prayer breakfast was held and public statement was made.

"They also sponsored a statement to the city that several churches and congregations have signed onto stating their support of marriage equality," said Cramer.

Jacob Davis says PrideFest is a time to have fun and raise awareness. He's glad increased numbers likely mean a greater acceptance of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender communities.

"It shows a growing acceptance and especially considering the area of the country that we are in and the stigma that this area normally has when it comes to gay acceptance it's a pleasure to see that," said Davis.

Everyone in the community is welcomed to attend. Organizers say support for the LGBT communities continues to increase because more people know a lesbian or gay person and see them a friend or family member. They see more than the person's sexual orientation.

The PrideFest organizer is also pleased, saying the county commission has had a first reading on expanding their non-discrimination ordinance to include the LGBT communities.

For more information on events, follow the link here.

Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WATE. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.