HELENA — Big Sky Pride kicked off July 11th in Helena, and many businesses are showing their support through "Show Your Pride."
“We have always felt like we were a safe space for the LGBTQ community, we are LGBTQ-owned. Growing up in Helena it didn’t always feel like a safe community for me, and I just wanted to make sure that when my son grew up in this community it would be a safe community for him and his friends," said Brienna Harrington, the owner of the Painted Pot, and a participant in Show Your Pride.
Harrington says she has an overwhelming sense of pride in being able to build a supportive space: “It’s hard to put it into words how wonderful it is to know that we are building a community that is open to everybody."
For Mitchell Wheeler, the amount of support found in Montana's capital was surprising: “It was just a community that I didn’t even ever truly know existed in Helena.”
Wheeler is a barista at Firetower Coffee and says Big Sky Pride being canceled last year due to COVID-19 was a huge loss.
“The loss was felt throughout the community, and we are really excited to have it back this year,” said Wheeler.
Even though the celebration was canceled last year, Big Sky Pride director Kev Hamm says the community in Helena is an outstanding bunch.
“We still have had amazing things happen every year and its just fantastic. The show of support that happens in this town is absolutely amazing," said Hamm.
Hamm welcomes all allies of the LGBTQ plus community to join the events, and show their support.
“We can’t do this alone and we are better together," said Hamm.
Big Sky Pride will wrap up with a parade on Saturday:
- Parade Line up: July 17th 2021, 10:00 am, with staging at Front Street between Niell Ave & 13th Street.
- Parade Starting time: 7/17/21 11:00 am
- Parade Route: Route of travel shall commence from the staging area and cross Niell Ave to Last Chance Gulch, and will then follow Last Chance Gulch south through the walking mall and to Anchor and Pioneer Parks near the Lewis & Clark County Library, where the Big Sky Pride Rally will take place.