Every year on the third weekend in June, Sioux Falls Pride holds its big festival. This year, the community is ramping up its support for those who identify as LGBTQ.
At its start in the mid-2000's, about 1,000 people came together for Sioux Falls Pride.
Nearly 10,000 support the fest that's gaining momentum from not only people, but businesses as well.
More Sioux Falls businesses are flying their unwavering support for the LGBTQ community.
"I think it's definitely getting better and only continually getting better," Calli Johnson said.
Johnson's employer, M.B. Haskett, is a long-time supporter of Sioux Falls Pride.
And that means a lot to her.
"I think it's very important that we all understand each other in this community, no matter who we are or what we've been through," Johnson said.
The parade's organizer, Adam Jorgensen, said there are 10 new business sponsors for this year's fest, which hopes to draw in more than 10,000 people.
One of those new businesses is JAM Art & Supplies.
Shop owner Jess Miller said she supports Sioux Falls Pride because it goes back to her love and support for the city.
"There's no real special reason other than we like to be a part of the community and what the community is doing and it's kind of a no-brainer for us," Miller said.
JAM is donating art supplies to create chalk art along the streets of downtown Sioux Falls ahead of Pride weekend.
Both Miller and Johnson hope that with more support, comes more acceptance.
"Embracing tolerance and passion for the neighbors we have," Miller said.
"Continuing to have open minds and understanding it's not a choice, it's just who we are and we can't help it," Johnson said.
Many of the new business sponsors this year are large corporations like Citibank, U.S. Bank and Grand Falls Casino and Resort.
Pride in the Park is this Saturday at Terrace Park from noon to 6 p.m. For a full list of events and sponsors, visit Sioux Falls Pride's website.
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