Pride parade marches through Burlington

Published: Sep. 10, 2023 at 11:48 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - People from all over Vermont celebrated the 40th Annual Pride Parade in Burlington on Sunday.

“It’s really nice to see the community and it’s a really great opportunity for us to be out and loud and proud of our sexuality,” Colchester resident Kelly Zimmer said.

Kelly and her wife, Emily, have been coming to this event since before they tied the knot.

“We’ve been coming together since we started dating back in 2016 and it’s just a way to celebrate the fact that we’re gay,” Emily Zimmer said.

The Pride Parade celebrates and supports Vermont’s LGBTQ+ community.

This year’s theme was “Ruby: 40 Years of Fabulous.”

“Ruby is the traditional 40th-anniversary gift, so we based it off of that and also it’s a great representation of the sparkle and shine that makes the LGBTQ+ community unique,” said Phoebe Zorn, the Pride Center of Vermont’s director of development and communications.

Dozens of vendors came out to show their support. Scottie Gage comes from Boston. He founded the nonprofit organization, Verna Felton, which donates drag costumes to members of the LGBTQ+ community who can’t afford them. Gage says the Pride parade creates a loving space for community members.

“I think when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community and people who support members of the community, I see unconditional pride or love forever,” Gage said.

“I come to support all of my friends. I have a lot of friends that are in the LGBTQ+ community,” Essex Junction resident Eric DeBlasio said.

Vendors working the festival say the event holds a special place in their hearts.

“As a queer artist, the Pride events are my favorite events to work because not only are the people who attend the most fun and receptive, but I can be the most myself,” Bristol resident Emma Riesner said.

Others say the event is the perfect safe space to express who they are.

“Look at all the people here, I mean like there’s so many different people with so many different identities,” Green Mountain Roller Derby member Halle Dalgleish said.

Organizers say every year more and more people make it out to enjoy the fun.