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The third annual WSP Pride event happened this weekend at the Sports Complex with several hundred people attending and recognition of a local community advocate. The WSP Pride event itself expanded into a full weekend with a skate party on Friday night, an exercise event Saturday morning, and the main event during the day on Saturday. The main event had more than 40 vendors, entertainment, and free food—which ran out.
Thanks to generous donations and a successful silent auction, which help fund the event and future plans, WSP Pride has already announced the dates for next year’s event: July 7-8, 2023.
Community Advocate Award
WSP Pride presented Dodge Nature Center naturalist Allie Steffan with the Community Advocate award. During a planning meeting at Dodge, Steffan spoke up about a programming gap and eventually created Pride Outside, a free after-school program for fifth through 12th grade students at Dodge. After enthusiastic feedback, she also added Wild Pride, a monthly nature program for LGBTQ+ adults and allies.
“This allows folks to show up in a completely inclusive environment and be able to focus on things like nature, instead of whether or not they can be their authentic selves,” read a statement from WSP Pride. “And that’s just what we all want to do in the world.”
“Allie is truly a changemaker for our whole community and especially every young person at Pride Outside,” read a statement from Dodge Nature Center.
The first Community Advocate award went to Connye LaCombe in 2021.
What Does WSP Pride Mean to You?
We had our own West St. Paul Reader booth at WSP Pride to connect with the community and give early access to our printable voter’s guide. We also had a display asking attendees to share “What does WSP Pride mean to you?” The answers included:
- Treating everyone like a person.
- Transgender people are important.
- Joy in community.
- A place to be free.
- Honoring and celebrating my LGBTQ+ friends.
- Joy in abundance.
- It means love.
- A place where I belong.
- Be respectful to other people. -Charlie, almost 7 years old
- I’m proud of WSP.
- IGH needs Pride too!
Thanks to everyone who made this positive, welcoming event possible.
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