St. Cloud, Minnesota, land of Michele Bachmann, and land of the pastor who, last year, placed a large ad in the St. Cloud Times claiming that Muslims were trying to take over the United States by supporting “the homosexual agenda,” is having a Pride parade and festival. And what’s more, according to organizers, it’s being very well received by local businessmen and by the city government.
Heidi Aldies, the Director of St. Cloud State University’s LGBT Resource Center and one of the organizers behind the festival, told TheColu.mn that she and fellow organizers have been holding talks with St Cloud business owners about co-sponsoring the weekend of festivities alongside St. Cloud State, and “they’re pretty excited and supportive.”
“I think there has been a change [in St Cloud] over the last ten years,” Aldies said.
Many in the city, she said, have become focused on building a community that welcomes a variety of new residents and tourists, and have agreed to put aside some of the culture wars battles. “The point of agreement,” she said, “is that St Cloud is a wonderful city that has a lot to offer residents and tourists.”
And it’s not like all the LGBT people have been missing from St. Cloud until this year, Aldies said. “There have been pockets of support and celebration all over the community and this provides an opportunity for those pockets to come together.”
While all the details won’t be finalized until the end of June, Aldies expects festivities to open with a comedy show on the night of Friday, September 24th, followed by a festival in a park on Saturday that would include live performances, food, tabling by community groups, and a play area for children.