A few hundred residents showed up to Morgantown Pride’s first-ever block party on Saturday in South Park.
Morgantown Pride, a local nonprofit, was created just ten weeks ago with the goal to establish more LGBTQ representation in Morgantown. The block party was their first major event, but many more are in the works, according to organizers.
“What we are trying to do is give back more to the community,” said Johnny Perry, the social media and events coordinator for Morgantown Pride. “We want to do more LGBTQ+ teen nights, family events and different fundraisers throughout the year so we can we can have a nicer pride festival next year.”
With limited time to put the event together, Morgantown Pride still managed to bring in 50 performers from around the state. Along with live music throughout the day, there was face painting, drag-queen story time and vendors scattered throughout.
Perry said putting all this together was no easy task, but well worth the effort.
“All of us have full-time jobs within the community and some board members are students, so it was working together every evening and waking up early before work,” Perry said. “It was just a lot of effort and a lot of support from our friends and loved ones.”
Because of the hard work of the board members, the block party was an eye-opening experience to how diverse Morgantown really is for many in attendance.
“I didn’t realize how important events like this were until I actually came,” said Sarah Cooper, a world languages graduate student at WVU. “So many different people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life are just here having fun.”
Along with uniting hundreds of community members of all ages together, Danielle Walker, a Democratic representative of District 51 in the West Virginia House of Delegates, said the event had an even deeper meaning that represents what Morgantown Pride and the LGBTQ+ community stand for.
“Events like this bring inclusion, events like this bring education, but most importantly, events like this bring love,” said Walker. “I see a sea of rainbows where everyone can just be who they are and no one is judgmental, no one has hate in their heart, because hate has no home here or anywhere.”