Starkville holds first Pride Parade after early opposition

Starkville holds first Pride Parade after early opposition
Despite early opposition by aldermen, the City of Starkville held its first-ever Pride Parade Saturday, with thousands attending the colorful event. (Source: Twitter/Thomas Howard)

STARKVILLE, MS - Thousands of people showed up Saturday for the first-ever gay pride parade in Starkville after city officials originally tried to block the event from happening.

It was a day of bright colors, rainbows and joy. People dressed in brightly colored outfits while dancing down the streets and carrying signs with positive messages.

According to Mayor Lynn Spruill's Twitter page, the parade had a turnout of around 2,500 people with no arrests or incidents.

The Starkville Daily News said this is the largest parade the city has ever seen.

Video tweeted by the Starkville Daily News showed people with rainbow balloons. Some roller skated, while several others walked with their dogs behind a sign saying, "Unleash Pride."

The video also showed one protester with a sign calling homosexuality an "abomination."

Home to Mississippi State University, where cowbells ring at every event, the mayor's Twitter page sported a photo Saturday morning before the parade of a cowbell wrapped in rainbow-colored tape. She also attended the parade, wearing a shirt with a picture of a rainbow-colored America on it.

The pride parade was originally denied by Starkville's board of aldermen last month. Despite 16 people speaking out in support of the parade and only two speaking against it, the board denied the parade permit in a vote of 4-to-3.

Just a few weeks later, after backlash from the public and a lawsuit filed by the group Starkville Pride, the board voted to allow the pride in 3-3 tie vote, with Mayor Spruill breaking the tie in support of the event.

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