Community gathers to attend Jackson Pride Fest

JACKSON, Tenn. — The community gathered in Jackson for a day of celebration, community and being yourself.

“We’re here to celebrate pride,” said Darren Lykes, chair person for the Pride Fest. “It is all about love and community.”

Hundreds of people showed up and showed out with pride at Conger Park. Families, friends and supporters were catered to with music, food, games and love.

“For this event, it’s not just the LGBTQ+ community,” Lykes said. “It’s everybody. Everybody is representing here today, and that is the most beautiful part of it.”

Lykes says proceeds raised at the festival will go toward a great cause.

“Right now it’s the largest fundraiser for Equality of Jackson,” said Lykes. “They are a local non-profit serving the LGBTQ community, and the proceeds raised today will go directly to them.”

Festival goers shared what pride means to them.

“My girls and I are here, and my husband, and we are just here just enjoying fellowship with people from our community,” said attendee Shannon Stewart. “The City of Jackson cares about everybody. No matter who you are, no matter what your orientation is, that you are just cared for.”

“Pride festivals are super important to the community, and I am really glad that Jackson was able to have it because it does provide a space for people to come and be themselves and meet other people like themselves and really be proud of who they are, and there is not a lot of those places,” said attendee Stephanie Reyes.

“It’s a very safe place, and we welcome everyone to come out,” Lykes said. “Totally be themselves, and it’s a safe haven for anybody.”

Organizers say they hope to make this an annual event.

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