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Sioux Falls Pride holds festival in new location, cites growing attendance

Vanessa Carlson Bender
Sioux Falls Argus Leader
Morgan Kunzweiler and Jalyn McDaniel sit on the curb to watch the first-ever Pride parade Saturday, June 15, 2019 in downtown Sioux Falls.

Part of the annual Festival and Parade will have an all-new lineup and location this year.

While the parade will still be downtown this weekend, the celebration afterward will be at the instead of near 8th and Railroad.

The venue change is because of the festival鈥檚 growing attendance and the need to accommodate more vendors for those growing numbers.聽Last year's festivities drew approximately 15,000 people, a substantial increase given its first year in 2019 brought in roughly 1,000.

Sioux Falls Pride President and Marketing Director Rachel Polan said this new space will also be more accessible and offer more parking.

"Our board decided that the Sioux Falls Stadium would offer the best experience for everybody involved," Polan said.

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Controlled access will be another plus for holding the festival at the Sioux Falls Stadium this year, given it's fenced-in private property. Festival points of entry will be limited to two areas, and as in years past, private security will be present.

An audience member gets an upfront and personal drag performance during the Sioux Falls Pride Festival in downtown Sioux Falls on Saturday, June 18, 2022.

Because of the venue鈥檚 rental agreement, and to be more inclusive, the 2024 Pride Festival will be a dry event this year. Alcohol is not allowed to be served during the festival but those who wish to indulge can still enjoy adult beverages at the various downtown 21+ events, like the on Saturday night and at Dada Gastropub, as well as

"We have been looking at moving to a dry festival for a while," Polan said. "We're excited to now offer a sober event for the public."

Polan said attendees should also note that only service animals will be allowed at the stadium this year, but pets are welcome at the Sioux Falls Stadium parking lot and the parade.

Sioux Falls Pride used to be held at Terrace Park until it outgrew that location and moved to Cherapa Place in 2021. Because of construction at Cherapa Place in 2022, the organization worked with the City of Sioux Falls and 8th and Railroad Center to secure an accessible downtown location for the 2022 and 2023 festivals and parade routes.

The first-ever Pride parade makes its way through downtown Saturday, June 15, in Sioux Falls.

Here's a look at what you need to know if you go this weekend:

When and where is the Pride parade?

The Pride parade takes place at 10 a.m. Saturday on 8th Street from Dakota Avenue to Reid Street, according to the.

A map of the parade route can be found . At 8 a.m., North Dakota Avenue between 6th Street and 8th Street will close to traffic.聽

Where is the Pride festival?

Sioux Falls Stadium, 1001 N. West Ave.

The party after the parade takes place at The Birdcage, where registered vendors can set up from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This celebratory occasion will comprise of a vendor fair on the concourse, food trucks and various family-friendly shows and musical performances on the field and stage throughout the day, according to Sioux Falls Pride鈥檚 website.聽

Map of venue for the 2024 Sioux Falls Pride Festival on June 8, 2024, at the Sioux Falls Canaries Stadium.
List of vendors and food trucks for the 2024 Sioux Falls Pride Festival on June 8, 2024, at the Sioux Falls Canaries Stadium.

For the kids, there will be a variety of games such as ladder ball and cornhole, chalk art, an inflatable bounce slide and opportunities to have their faces painted.

New this year, the Sioux Falls Pride Festival will provide a sensory-friendly, quieter shopping experience beginning between 10-10:30 a.m. until noon at the stadium for those more sensitive to larger crowds and noise.

Polan said Sioux Falls Pride board member and health and wellness chair Tray Mendez suggested this idea and the board was "happy to take it under advisement and make it happen this year."

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Musical performances will include the at noon and (formerly known as the Sioux Falls Chamber Music Collective) at 1:30 p.m.

An all-ages drag show will be performed on stage at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., with Richard Shakers as the emcee.聽

The festival is free to attend but Sioux Falls Pride will also be accepting donations to aid this year鈥檚 venue cost. Attendees may bring blankets and chairs to sit on the field or the stands will also be available.

A spectator runs forward to hug a woman with a "free mom hugs" sign at the first-ever Pride parade Saturday, June 15, in downtown Sioux Falls.

All are welcome to join the festivities to support and celebrate the Sioux Falls LGBTQ2s+ community.聽

What is Sioux Falls Pride?

The 501c3 nonprofit Sioux Falls Pride is the largest LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit community organization in South Dakota.

Polan said Sioux Falls Pride 鈥渆xists to celebrate our community and educate the wider community about what it means to be LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit."

Sioux Falls Pride first began in mid-2000 and was then known as the Center for Equality in Sioux Falls, according to the Sioux Falls Pride website. It later rebranded as Sioux Falls Pride in 2019.

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The festival began shortly after Sioux Falls Pride formed and continues to grow to this day. The parade was added to the event in 2019, which was attended by 8,000 guests and is now entering its fifth year.

Sioux Falls Pride is entirely volunteer-led and sustained. Individuals can still sign up to help make this year鈥檚 and a success.

With last year's festivities costing approximately $46,000, and 2024's may be close to $50,000, sponsor support plays an essential role in supporting the LGBTQIA+ and Two Spirit community in Sioux Falls.

Sponsors for 2024鈥檚 Sioux Falls Pride include AARP Sioux Falls, Sammons Financial, Planned Parenthood North Central States, Sanford Health, Midco, Queen On The Scene, Amazon and Wells Fargo.聽