A sea of rainbow flags engulfed the streets of Aurora, as the city celebrated its second annual Pride Parade. The event brought over 15,000 people, but it almost didn’t happen.
Pride Parade Cancelled?
The parade was actually cancelled earlier this year after a city ordinance mandated that private events cover cost such as police presence, and parade routes. It prohibited the city of Aurora to contribute to the nearly $40,000 bill. But the community stepped up in a big way.
“We found out that we had to come up with about $20,000, more than we thought, and we knew we had to cancel,” said Indivisible Aurora Member Elisa Larche-Ciesla. “So we had a big meeting and there was so much support at the meeting and people who were unwilling to let it go down. People stepped up, and gave us almost $20,000 in one day.”
The GoFundMe campaign ended up raising more money than its goal, and will use the excess for next year’s Pride Parade.
Who Was at The Event?
Nearly 2,000 people participated in the event including police department’s from Elgin and Aurora.
“This is all bout love; it’s about inclusion, engagement, and everyone matters. If we can be apart of that then that’s what we’re going to do,” said Aurora Police Chief Kristen Zimen.
Aurora’s Mayor Richard Irvin said the event brought the city closer together.
“It swells my heart to see everyone loving and caring for each other,” said Mayor Richard Irvin. “Knowing that today is about pride and our community being together as one people. Today is special for the city of Aurora, today is good for the city.”
LGBTQ+ groups from high schools, bike clubs, churches, and others walked at the parade.
And Naperville’s LGBTQ+ group, Naper Pride, also attended and explained the significance of the day.
“This is really exciting you can see the love amongst the people, this is what it’s about,” said Denkia McMillen, public information officer for Naper Pride. “It’s a day for recognition, it’s a day where they don’t have to feel abnormal. It’s a day to celebrate, everyone is out here cheering and it’s just a lot of acceptance.”
Celebrating uniqueness, pride, and love.
Naperville News 17’s Christian Canizal reports.
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