Hundreds celebrate annual Tennessee Valley Pride Parade
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – Today the Tennessee Valley celebrated its annual Chattanooga Pride Parade and Festival.
“We meet friends that become like family and we all just have a really good time,”says Marcus Ellsworth, President of Tennessee Valley Pride.
Its an annual tradition for the LGBTQ+ community.
The festival today is the finale of an entire week of Pride events.
It featured live music all day long along with several other attractions.
The event kicks off the first Saturday of October in Downtown, Chattanooga.
“We come down to Ross’ Landing to celebrate the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, intersex, plus community,”says Ellsworth.
Ross’s landing was the site for the very first pride festival but it hasn’t always stayed there.
“They moved out to Booker T Washington State Park for a few years, but then we moved back to Miler plaza, and in Recent years we were able to come back to Ross’s Landing. We feel like here is where our pride started and its really important for us to come back to our roots,”says Ellsworth.
People of ages are welcome to come to the event.
“We want this to be a space in the community, where kids who are in the LGBTQ community feel that there are moms who see them and love them for exactly who they are,”says Mari Smith and Taylor Lyons with the Chattanooga Moms for Social Justice Group.
Today is not just a festival celebration it is also a safe place for people to gain access to support and other resources.
“I hope it serves as a beacon, you know that when they get to the point that they are comfortable and safe enough fully as who they are. That there is a community waiting to fully embrace them,”says Ellsworth.