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Milwaukee Pride Parade aiming for its biggest turnout ever

Milwaukee Pride Parade

When you’ve been around for 20 years, your hope is that you’ve shown some healthy growth and built a solid group of supportive friends. As the Milwaukee Pride Parade celebrates that two-decade mark this year, it seems the event has succeeded on both counts.

This year’s parade is set for Sunday, June 9, with plans to step off at 2 p.m. and follow a northern route in Walker’s Point along South 2nd Street between Scott and Seeboth streets. Right now, the number of participants on that route is on track to be the biggest in the event’s history.

Milwaukee Pride Parade

According to parade organizers, more than 160 units are already committed to appear and help continue the tradition of a fun, family-friendly celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride. They estimate that around 20,000 people attended last year and are hoping to attract even more this time around.

"From modest beginnings to becoming one of the city’s most anticipated events, the Milwaukee Pride Parade is a reflection of our community’s commitment to love and acceptance for all," parade board member Wyatt Tinder said in a release. "This milestone year is a perfect moment to honor our past and stride forward into a future of even greater inclusivity. Join us as we celebrate two decades of pride and progress."

Along those lines, this year’s theme is “Respecting Our Past — Honoring our Future,” which organizers hope to see reflected in the parade itself. They’re encouraging participants to honor famous events in Milwaukee LGBTQ+ history, recognize the event’s 20th anniversary and display their hope for a brighter future for the city’s LGBTQ+ community.

Leading those efforts on the day of the parade will be grand marshalls Montell Infiniti Ross and Elle Halo. Ross is one of the state’s leading “male-lead” entertainers; has won titles ranging from Mr. Gay Southern States USofA to Mr. Pridefest/MKE; and is a community activist and educator in the fields of healthcare and social/racial injustice.

Halo is a Black woman of trans experience, writer, model, singer, dedicated LGBTQ health equity advocate and educator, and founder of TRANCE Consulting LLC and The Paris Ticca Mahone Memorial Transition Fund. She was the first transgender woman community co-chair of SAPG Statewide Action Planning Group for HIV and AIDS of Wisconsin, as well as an inaugural member of The Black AIDS Institute Ambassadorship of Biomedical Prevention. Halo also has received awards including 2023 Woman of the Year from Black Trans Advocacy Coalition and 2021 Best LGBTQ Advocate from Shepherd Express, among others

There’s still time to register as a participant in the parade or as a volunteer to help create a safe and inspiring event for everyone involved. If you’re interested in either opportunity, visit the Milwaukee Pride Parade website.