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Wisconsin's largest LGBTQ+ festival returns to Milwaukee kicking off Pride Month

By Taylor Lumpkin,


Wisconsin's largest LGBTQ+ festival is back!

"I love being able to come to my hometown, be around people who are full of light and love and we're just fellowshipping together," said Dailen Harris.

Thursday kicked off Milwaukee's 35th annual Pridefest. Hundreds headed to Summerfest grounds for day one of the three-day event, and it did not disappoint.

"This is like our fourth year and it's just a good time, it's good vibes and everybody's just happy to be here," said Cassie Jackson.

"It's nice to let loose where no one is going to judge you," said Jen Hannula.

Festival-goers say the annual event offers a safe space for people to celebrate each other and be themselves.

"I've gone through years of being told that I wasn't enough, that being gay is wrong and everything is a sin and I come here today feeling like my authentic self," said Devin Billingslea.

" We often are going out into the world and we're having to put on a different face or meet other people's expectations, but here you can let it all go and you can be yourself," said Harris.

We asked, what does pride month mean to them?

"Pride is home," said Shayla Cook. "It's very important to always remain rooted and grounded within oneself so when I come to pride it is also a celebration of that."

"It just means being free. That's it for me," said Jackson.

"Pride means just accepting yourselves, accepting others the way they are," said Hannula.

And they say there's no better time than now, during this Pride Month, to find yourself and set your most authentic self free.

" It's time to live your life, it's time," said Billingslea.

Additionally, Pridefest will take place on Friday from 3 p.m. until midnight, and Saturday from 12 p.m. until midnight.

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