South Bend Pride Festival kicks off tomorrow at Potawatomi Park

NOW: South Bend Pride Festival kicks off tomorrow at Potawatomi Park

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. -- The LGBTQ Center is preparing for its annual pride event in South Bend at Potawatomi Park. 

LGBTQ Center Executive Director H.R. Jung describes tomorrow as a vibrant event as a full day of activities, performances and community spirit celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. 

"Every year, it gets a little bit bigger. We get more people coming out and celebrating pride, whether they're part of the community or their allies to the community. Everybody is welcome, as we say, as long as everybody's respectful of what the event is about, and everybody that's there," Jung said.  

Tomorrow's festivities start at 1 p.m., featuring artists, crafters, churches, medical providers and other service organizations. There will be food vendors and performances by DJs and bands from 1 to 7 p.m. 

This event is one of several hosted by the LGBTQ Center in South Bend to celebrate pride month in June. The center has seven additional events planned throughout the month. 

Jung notes that last year's festival attracted over 5,000 visitors and 96 vendors. This year, with 162 vendor spots, he expects a larger turnout.   

"It's always great just to get people together and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community and with our allies. And then also, the visibility is still very key because South Bend is a pretty urban area with lots of people living in a smaller area. But those who live in rural areas don't have that access to a lot of communities. So, this a lot of times, June, or whenever other places have their pride festivals, it's their one opportunity to really get out and find community and build those networks and those friendships," Jung said.  

Jung emphasizes that ensuring safety is always paramount for the events they organize. 

This comes after a fight broke out at an LGBTQ+ event at The Well during an all-ages drag show. 

While Jung does not anticipate significant pushback at Saturday's Pride Fest, they are actively working with the city and police to ensure safety and security.  

And with these safety measures in place, Jung is confident that the South Bend pride festival will be a secure and enjoyable event for everyone. 

"There's a lot of LGBTQ folks in Michiana. And we ask them all to come out and represent, and it's a great way for them to see other people build those communities and networks," Jung said.  

Share this article: