KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) – SoKno Pride started in 2021 as a brunch, and the event is continuing to grow as the years go on.
“The first year was 2021 and we expected maybe 100 people to show up and we had more than a few hundred people show up and then last year we had into the multiple thousands,” said Jimi Miller of SoKno Pride.
This year, people were able to participate in several activities. Amberly Kelley-Dotson kicked off the event by teaching a yoga class.
“I always have felt very passionate about being more inclusive in yoga spaces that are predominantly not that unfortunately, so helping the LGBTQ+ community get involved and get in touch with their bodies and be able to connect with themselves is really important to me,” Kelley-Dotson said.
Local businesses are also taking part in the celebrations, including Hi-Wire Brewing. Cally Broome, the regional tap manager for the brewery, says they have participated in the event since it started.
“It’s super important, we want everyone to be welcomed and loved in this area of town especially,” Boome said. “We want to just celebrate all different kinds of people and have a good time and let people know it’s ok to be them.”
Miller says the event donate nearly 100% of their proceeds to lcoal non-profit organizations.
“We are donating to two nonprofits this year that is Rooted East who work towards bridging the gap for food in east Knoxville, making it accessible to everyone,” Miller said. “We are also donating to Bryant’s Bridge, which they do a lot within the south Knoxville community for housing the LGBTQ community.”
SoKno Pride expects over 10,000 people to attend. The event wraps up at 11 p.m., Saturday.