pride

Folks dance under the protection of the Selman Timber Frame Pavilion in Commons Park during the first-ever Angola Pride festival on Saturday. Organizers say more than 200 people attended the event based on stickers that were passed out to each individual making their way to an entry point of the Pavilion.

ANGOLA — Constant rain didn’t dampen the spirits of those attending the first Angola Pride Festival at the Selman Timber Frame Pavilion in Commons Park on Saturday, but there were plenty of rainbows even with the sun lacking.

There were more than 200 people who turned out for the event that saw constant rain and possibly kept some people from attending.

“I think Angola is going to be in the hurricane’s eye,” organizer Claudia Camargo said.

That’s because the event received much attention on social media and a big bump after a front page article appeared in The Herald Republican last week.

Camargo said the article was shared with many people who, along with social media, decided to come visit Angola and its first-ever pride festival.

Camargo said the event received attention from many people in neighboring states and counties and even from larger communities.

She said she talked to people who were from Steuben County and decided to return home because they felt the community had to have become more accepting of the LGBTQ community if it were hosting a Pride festival.

The event had food, music, vendors and informational tables as well as child-friendly activities. In addition, there was dancing and socializing and a family friendly atmosphere.

Angola’s Pride fest has come about because organizers believe the local population is changing and improving its welcoming message.

Angola Mayor Dick Hickman gave what attendees said was a powerful welcome address.

The event got its start last year with a Pride picnic in Commons Park.

Next year there might be a parade.

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