KINGSBURG, Calif. (KGPE) – Kingsburg City Councilmember Jewel Hurtado says organizers of the first-of-it’s-kind pride celebration at Coffee Pot Park are expecting hundreds of people to attend.
“We want to create a safe place for people to just come out and celebrate. It’s not political, it’s not controversial, it’s just a good time,” said Hurtado.
The event comes just a month after Hurtado’s proposal to proclaim June as pride month in Kingsburg was shut down.
“It didn’t pass in the city of Kingsburg, but I see this as a positive thing because we saw this domino effect in a way happen all throughout the valley,” said Hurtado. “We saw the pride flag be raised at my school Fresno City College, at Fresno State, at city hall in Fresno. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Organizers say pride events provide a welcoming safe space where members of the LGBTQ+ community can fully express themselves, surrounded by allies.
“Especially for young kids growing up here in the Central Valley,” said Emily Mckay Johnson, Outreach Coordinator for the Fresno EOC LGBTQ+ Resource Center. “They need a place to feel comfortable, to feel safe, and to feel like they’re not just tolerated, but they’re fully accepted for who they are, who they love, what their gender is.”
The Kingsburg Pride event takes place Saturday at 3:00 p.m. at 1460 Marion Street. The Illuminate Our Pride event in Fresno also takes place Saturday between 5:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. at the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at 1252 Fulton Street.