News Local/State

Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest And Parade Marks 10th Anniversary

Banner for C-U Pride Fest.

One of several banners for C-U Pride Fest in downtown Champaign in 2017. Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

The 10th annual Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest and Parade takes place this weekend. 

The event marks a series of significant milestones for Champaign County and the larger LGBTQ community. 

This year marks the UP Center's 10th anniversary. The nonprofit was founded in 2009 to plan and promote LGBTQ support services, education and events throughout the county. Additionally, the celebration will also mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.The arrests of LGBTQ patrons at a bar in New York City in June of 1969 and the ensuing civil unrest that followed spurred a civil rights movement and serves as the inspiration for annual pride celebrations across the globe —  typically held in June. 

The UP Center holds the county’s annual pride parade in September to allow University of Illinois students to participate. The group states that the event has grown to become the largest pride celebration in downstate Illinois.

Sam Brinton of the Trevor Project, a nonprofit that aims to prevent suicide among LGBTQ youth, will serve as this year’s Pride Fest grand marshal.

The parade kicks off at 3 p.m. on Saturday in downtown Champaign. The event will also feature outdoor performances and vendors at One Main Plaza in Champaign from 1 p.m. through 7 p.m. this Saturday. A detailed schedule of events can be found on the organization’s website. The event is free and open to the public. 

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