FOX VALLEY AREA REGIONAL NEWS: Calumet County, Fond du Lac County, Outagamie County, Winnebago County

Appleton community celebrates Pride for the first time despite inclement weather

Local News

APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) — Saturday afternoon, a celebration of Pride Month was held at Appleton’s Jones Park.

It was the first event of its kind in the city.

“Truthfully, I wasn’t aware that it was Appleton’s first pride event until about two weeks ago,” Organizer Ellen Magnin said.

Bringing pride to Appleton is important to the event’s organizers, as well as to the LGBTQ community in the Fox Cities.

“It’s pretty commonplace for us to feel pretty isolated and alone,” Magnin explained, “like nobody really understands us or is affiliated with us, so the first reason we had it was to create that sense of comradery.”

The event was originally scheduled to take place in Appleton’s Houdini Plaza.

The day’s heavy rainfall forced the celebration to relocate to Jones Park, where it could be held under the park’s amphitheater roof.

“It’s a day to be together in a community and rain or shine, we’re here,” Organizer Sommer Loar said. “It shows you the endurance of the queer community, I mean it is raining cats and dogs, it’s supposed to storm later, and we all still showed up.”

Another organizer, Emily Nienhius, added, “This community is so resilient, and gathering together and having a safe space is so important for everyone.”

It’s a space they’re able to create after the coronavirus pandemic canceled many Pride events in 2020.

“The pandemic was hard because our community couldn’t get together,” Loar said, “and for some people, that’s a lifeline, and pride is a lifeline.”

That lifeline has now been extended into Appleton.

“Seeing everybody of all different gender identities and orientations coming out today to celebrate and be there for each other, just makes me feel so happy and grateful for every single person that came out here today,” Magnin said.

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