Pride event held in downtown South Bend
A pride event took over downtown South Bend Saturday afternoon.
This year's event was a little different than years past.
Organizers shut down the entire block of Michigan Street in the heart of downtown.
They say it's a time to come together as a community and show that South Bend is a place for everyone.
Organizers say it was the biggest showing they've ever had.
"It really warms our herats to see everyone coming out, either showing solidarity or visibility for the LGBTQ community, knowing, when we do move forward, they'll be behind us and supporting us every step of the way," said Jamie Morgan with the LGBTQ Center.
Hundreds of people showed up.
"I think it's important for people who don't accept this community to see that there are millions of people who do," said Anastasia Bermea, who attended the event.
People enjoyed the music and activities, or stopped at the local non-profit booths.
For people like Brandon Mattix, the event was especially freeing.
"I came out of the closet about two days ago as a bisexual and this is my first ever pride," he said. "I don't think there's ever a reason to fake yourself, I don't think there's ever a reason to put on a mask, especially in your own homes, or your own school. or your workplace."
Bermea said she came to support.
"Personally, I'm not myself gay, but I love love and I think everyone deserves an equal chance to be able to express themselves freely," she said.
Many people were also expressing love for their city.
"Frankly, Indiana got kind of a bad reputation when it came to welcome and hospitality, that's why it's so important, to us as a city, to show that we shouldn't be painted with that broad brush, that we, at least here in South Bend, are in a community that really does belong to all," said South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
All of the proceeds from today's event go right back to the LGBTQ Center locally.
The center will use the money for youth programs like support groups and educational classes.