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Mixed Reviews From LGBT Community About Pride Moving Downtown

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A participant holds a rainbow flag during the gay and lesbian pride parade. (Photo by AFP/Getty/PEDRO ARMESTRE)

A participant holds a rainbow flag during the gay and lesbian pride parade. (Photo by AFP/Getty/PEDRO ARMESTRE)

ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) – The Pride festival and parade are moving downtown next summer, from the traditional home in Tower Grove Park.

It’s being questioned on social media by many in the gay and lesbian community.

“I know I wasn’t heard on it, I know I didn’t know of any meetings. So what community did they bring it to?” Maddy Christian said.

She works in the kitchen at MoKaBe’s, a coffee shop next to Tower Grove Park, and says the move downtown definitely means more people will see the festival. That said, she’s concerned about perception because she believes it’s become just a big party.

“Pride is supposed to celebrate those people who came before us; who have paved the way for us to walk down the street holding hands with the people that we love,” she explained. “I think people have lost sight of that.”

Christian said she doesn’t want festivalgoers to give the wrong impression, with so many people watching in the new location.

She also said that it would be a blow to the quaint South Grand neighborhood and she would miss the grass-covered and tree-topped location within Tower Grove Park.

Organizers say the move is a result of the festival’s growing popularity and will celebrate recent developments, like St. Louis County’s passage of a non-discrimination ordinance.

Pride St. Louis, Inc. also cited better access to utilities and water and later operating hours as reasons for the new location.

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