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A safe, successful, and glamorous Pride parade is on the way

406 Pride and Billings Police Department are confident of a successful and safe Pride parade, this Saturday
406 Pride flags
Posted at 1:04 PM, Jun 15, 2024

BILLINGS — On Saturday, June 22, allies and members of the LGBTQ+ community will celebrate underneath Billings Skypoint with a parade and festival.

Downtown Billings
Downtown Billings, beneath Skypoint, where the pride parade is to take place.

As for now, Pride Week means different things to different people.

"I just see so many smiles and such delight on folk's faces. 'Cuz for some, this is the first time they're in a large crowd of people who are supportive of them," says Marcus Frye, a Board Member for 406 Pride and organizer for the annual pride parade.

For all who celebrate Pride, it's a month of fun, color, and glam; which is why certain moments can be difficult to comprehend.

First Congregational sign
Sign outside of the First Congregational church.

On Wednesday in Missoula, a group of young men were captured on a business security camera, tearing down a Pride flag, ripping it apart, and then urinating on it.

"Well, I'll say, this isn't the first time... and it probably won't be the last," says Andy Nelson, the Executive Director of the Western Montana LGBTQ+ Community Center.

Frye is almost certain such an issue will not happen at this year's Pride in Billings. 406 Pride is working with the police to tackle any demonstration that may interrupt the festivities.

Frye describes Pride Month in his own words, "Pride is an opportunity for folks to get together, and have fun. To be around people who are supportive of them, who won't judge them for how they choose to present themselves. And honestly, it's just kind of a fun time."

Marcus Frye, 406 Pride
Marcus Frye discusses the incident that occurred in Missoula, Wednesday night.

Leutinent Matt Lennick with the Billings Police Department is confident the festival will be safe and successful.

"I'm not aware of any [Pride parade] we've had that hasn't been peaceful... We'll have the resources that we would normally put in place, and then any of the extra resources they feel are appropriate," says Lennick.

As of now, the Billings Police Department has had no credible threats or tips to be concerned about.

On June 22, you can expect a welcoming atmosphere filled with color, glam, and of course, Pride; which is what participants say the celebration is all about.

"Most of the safety has to do with how we, as a community, take care of each other." says Frye.

406 Pride graphic
406 Pride graphic present on meeting table

Frye and members of 406 Pride recommend taking care of yourself during the festival. Some tips include to bring a water bottle and snacks, regularly apply sunscreen, wear weather-appropriate clothes, and visit the Billings clinic booth if necessary. Most important, to avoid situations like the one in Missoula, Frye says, "If there's hateful folks there, don't engage."

406 Pride resource center
Living area present at the 406 Pride resource center.

For more information on 406 Pride and their resource center, visit their websiteor booth this Saturday.