Hundreds attend annual Pride Festival in Harrisonburg

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV)— Saturday was the annual Shenandoah Valley Pride Festival in Harrisonburg.

This is the fifth year of the festival in Court Square. | Credit: WHSV

Hundreds of people came out for the event, which was full of music, food and vendors. Board member Michele Sullivan said they work really hard to make sure the event is family friendly and open to everyone.

"There's people who are going to be here today who may be their authentic selves only one day a year, and if we can put that on for them, it's worth it," Sullivan said.

Tony Stephens came from Luray for the festival. He said acceptance is important, especially in small communities.

"We came out because it's important for a small community like this to come together to show other small areas how important it is to accept everyone," Stephens said.

Max, this year's Miss Shenandoah Pride said seeing everyone at the festival is one of the best parts.

"Its wonderful," Max said. "Seeing all the beautiful faces, spreading unity and community throughout the valley."

The people are also the best part for Stephens.

"People don't judge," Stephens said. "They don't look at you in any certain way, they accept you, they smile. You don't have to worry about what someone's thinking when you walk past them."

This is the first year the festival was held in September. Sullivan said the summer was just too hot, and having it in September meant college students in the valley would be able to attend. This is the fifth year the festival has been held at Court Square.