Pride festival has joyous tone in 2013

  • Updated: June 30, 2013 - 5:55 PM

At the gay pride parade on Hennepin Avenue, Sarah Kiefer looked on as Britta Carlson got soaked with soap foam from the Gay 90's foam party float.

Photo: Richard Tsong-Taatarii, Star Tribune

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MINNEAPOLIS — From a foam party float to a marriage proposal — this year's Twin Cities Pride Festival was one of joy and celebration for gay rights advocates.

The festival, which culminated Sunday with a parade, celebrated passage of a new law that legalized same-sex marriage in Minnesota. Paradegoers also praised last week's U.S. Supreme Court decision that extends federal benefits to same-sex couples in states where their marriages are legal.

Organizers say last year's parade felt like a rally, where gay marriage advocates carried signs urging others to "Vote No" for an amendment that would have banned same-sex marriages in the state. That amendment failed.

This year, the Pride parade had more of a party atmosphere.

The festival was complete with a "Save the Date Wedding Showcase," where same-sex couples got wedding planning advice. There was also at least one marriage proposal.

Former Minnesota Viking Chris Kluwe, an outspoken advocate for gay rights, was the parade's grand marshal. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and Minneapolis Police Chief Janee Harteau participated in the event.

Minnesota's first same-sex weddings will take place Aug. 1.

The Twin Cities Pride Festival has drawn about 300,000 people in recent years, and organizers expected to top that this year. Official attendance numbers were not immediately available Sunday.

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