39th annual Pride Parade in Burlington

Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 8:59 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People from across Vermont took to the Burlington streets on Sunday for the 39th annual Pride Parade.

The Pride Parade is a celebration of Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community, but it also serves as a bridge to garner support and create alliances.

This year’s theme was metamorphosis, meant to celebrate the transformations that people in the LGBTQ+ community go through.

“For us to come out together in force and in celebration. It shows people that they can’t stop us. We’re going to keep going and we’re going to keep coming back and... we’re stronger together,” said Mike Bensel, the executive director of the Pride Center of Vermont.

Even though the weather was gloomy, organizers say the gathering was one for the record books.

“This is the largest parade and festival that we’ve, that I’ve seen. So it’s incredible. So many people came out in the rain to celebrate their authentic selves as LGBTQ plus Vermonters,” said Bensel.

Celebrity comedian and actor Alec Mappa served as the parade’s grand marshal and says the event showcases the spirit of pride that our community has.

“A day like this is a day for unity, and especially pride. What pride does is the more of us that come out it gets harder to discriminate against somebody you know... Pride is a movement based on truth, authenticity and love,” said Mappa.

People who stayed to enjoy the celebration say the weather made the event unforgettable.

“The rain made it. It made it you know, funner you know, you’re sitting there everybody doesn’t mind it. A lot of people are just hanging out. Still a lot of fun. Still a lot of love going on,” said Ebony Latulippe, a Burlington resident who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Participants say it’s important to show love and acceptance to all members of the community, rain or shine.

“This is important to a lot of people, myself included, it makes you feel welcome it makes you feel loved... it’s important to be around people in this community. That loves you for who you are and just supports you through it,” said Latulippe.