KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Hundreds of people lined the streets on Saturday for the first South Side Pride event to enjoy vendors and activities along Sevier Avenue.
From dunking booths to hula hooping, there was something for everyone. Local vendors and businesses donated a lot of the proceeds to organizations such as the Trans Empowerment Project, Tennessee Equality Project, Appalachian OUTreach, Tennessee Valley Coalition for the Homeless, and The Bottom.
Twelve-year-old Lacie Brocke enjoyed some fun in the sun with her mom at South Side Pride.
“I got to dunk a person which was really fun,” Lacie laughed.
Her mom Brooke Moore said, “I’m glad she’s out here.”
Moore said its events like South Side Pride that help her daughter learn and grow, “I just grew up with a lot of friends that are gay and transgender and so I just come out to support them and show them love.”
She said, now Lacie can pass the message on to her own generation.
“Just try to be yourself,” stated Lacie. “If people don’t accept you, just don’t listen to them because what really matters is who you are and what you want to be.”
It’s that same mentality that brought hundreds of people out to Sevier Avenue.
“It’s good to see people coming out and supporting the community,” said Mike McReynolds who lives just down the street from the event.
He’s one of many who are glad to have a pride event after the annual pride parade was canceled two years in a row,
“Because of Covid, everything was canceled so its really nice to at least have this.”
Ed Jarnagins who was with McReynolds added, “it’s fantastic to see this much support. We’re very thankful that we can come to these types of events.”
There was a lot to see and do at South Side Pride, but Lacie Brocke knows there’s a bigger purpose to this fun in the sun.
“We should learn to accept each other because we’re all human,” said Brocke.
Brocke, along with many other people who attended the event, hopes this good day can help create a better tomorrow.