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Twin Cities Pride

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Template:Wikify Template:Unref Twin Cities Pride is the organization that produces the annual Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Pride Celebration in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, MN. The organization, which has roots going back to 1972, is run by about 35 year-round volunteers and one full-time employee. Its legal name is Gay-Lesbian-Bisexual-Transgender Pride/Twin Cities and was formerly known as "GLBT Pride/Twin Cities" until it started using the name by which it had always been commonly called, "Twin Cities Pride" in early 2007.

Twin Cities Pride annually produces an Art Show, Boat Cruise, Picnic, Festival and Parade in late June each summer. In addition, it produces a black-tie formal dinner in the spring of each year as its sole fund-raiser event. Of these, the Festival and Parade are by far the largest of these events.

The two-day festival drew over 300,000 guests in 2007 and typically features over 300 vendors, three or more stages of live entertainment, History Pavilion, Children's & Family Area, three food courts, multiple beer gardens and a headline entertainment show that ends Saturday evening with a fireworks display. It takes place in Loring Park, which is immediately adjacent to downtown Minneapolis. This 33-acre park is filled to capacity on Pride Weekend. The festival has no admission charge, but does charge for certain areas, such as the beer gardens and the headline show on Saturday night of the festival.

The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade is the largest parade of any kind in the City of Minneapolis. It typically has several hundred units who march by over 130,000 spectators on the Sunday morning of the Pride Festival. The route stretches through the heart of downtown Minneapolis and ends at the Pride Festival in Loring Park. There is a grandstand with celebrity emcees who announce the units as they march by. The grandstand is also the location of the two-hour Pre-Parade show and where the Parade Judges render their judgment for various awards. The Ashley Rukes GLBT Pride Parade was so named to honor former Parade Director Ashley Rukes, who grew the parade from only a few units to hundreds during her tenure which ended with her untimely death shortly before the 1999 event.

Over 400,000 Participants Annually

In 2007, Twin Cities Pride drew a combined attendance estimated to exceed 454,000 guests, making it one of the largest Pride celebrations in the United States.

Mission The mission statement of Twin Cities Pride is "to commemorate and celebrate our diverse heritage, inspire the achievement of equality and challenge discrimination."

Official Web Site: [1]

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