More than 20,000 turn out for PrideFest in Knoxville

More than 20,000 turn out for PrideFest in Knoxville

Posted:
The seventh annual event, which started out with a few hundred people its first year, has exploded into a massive community event. The seventh annual event, which started out with a few hundred people its first year, has exploded into a massive community event.
"It's a big block party, a chance to come out and be with all of our friends and have a hot day in the sun," said Knoxville PrideFest 2014 Festival Director Ben Byers. "It's a big block party, a chance to come out and be with all of our friends and have a hot day in the sun," said Knoxville PrideFest 2014 Festival Director Ben Byers.
Festival goers say they love the laid back, accepting atmosphere of the event. Festival goers say they love the laid back, accepting atmosphere of the event.
By Hayley Harmon
6 News Reporter/Anchor

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - More than 20,000 people attended Knoxville PrideFest 2014 in downtown Knoxville Saturday.

"Everybody gets together and supports each other," said Billy Burch of Sevierville.

The seventh annual event, which started out with a few hundred people its first year, has exploded into a massive community event.

The day kicked off with the annual PrideFest parade down Gay Street, with thousands of people lining the streets to see it.

"It's a great time for everybody," said Burch.

The parade ended in World's Fair Park, where the festival then got underway, with food, games and entertainment all day long.

Several bands took the stage as part of this year's concert lineup, headlined by the Indigo Girls.

"It's a big block party, a chance to come out and be with all of our friends and have a hot day in the sun," said Knoxville PrideFest 2014 Festival Director Ben Byers.

PrideFest is a celebration of the LGBT community in Knoxville, put on by the East Tennessee Equality Council.

"Gives us an opportunity to come out and represent Knoxville and our community in our own way," said Byers.

It's grown so much over the year, Byers says it is now one of the largest Pride festivals in all of the southeast.

Festival goers say they love the laid back, accepting atmosphere of the event.

"There's no hate when you're in this park during PrideFest," said Heather Wilson of Knoxville.

They say that feeling of acceptance is growing more and more in Knoxville every year.

"We're able to be more open and there's just so much support in this community," said Burch.

PrideFest helps them feel more connected than ever.

"It's just one of those places you feel accepted no matter how you are," said Wilson.

"There's a lot of energy and there's a lot of love and that's what it's all about really," said Burch.
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