Thousands came out to the Panhandle Pride Festival and Celebration on Saturday, June 23.
People from all over the Texas panhandle came out to enjoy Panhandle Pride, and show support for the LGBTQ Plus community.
Local businesses were there providing food, drinks, and services, such as dog grooming.
“Each business and organization out here is supportive of the community,” Karen Palmer, Panhandle Pride president, said.
Free entertainment was provided as bands played and shows were put on.
“This is amazing it gets bigger and better. Look at all the color and all the people and all the support really,” Palmer stated.
The event originally started as a picnic in 2012, since then it has grown in size and popularity.
“It was originally word of mouth when other people showed up and it was a potluck picnic but before that people celebrated pride fest for years,” Palmer explained.
Some groups showed up to simply show support. One, in particular, was giving away hugs to anyone who needed or wanted one.
“We’re out here accepting and loving and supporting anybody who’s out here who maybe doesn’t get a hug from a mom or a hug from a dad,” Nikki Key, said.
For those who may be struggling to find support event organizers say the pride festival is the place to be.
“It’s a great sense of community.it’s a great support system out here for anyone who might need it and it is so much fun,” Key said.
The festival included yoga, free onsite HIV testing, dancing, and even bounce houses for kids.
The event’s admission and parking was free to the public.