EUGENE, Ore. -- Twenty-eight years after the inaugural Eugene-Springfield PRIDE in the Park, organizers are starting a new tradition -- a march to Alton Baker Park -- to help foster excitement for the celebration.
The march will start at Spectrum on Broadway Street at 9 a.m. on Aug. 10, travel up High Street, cross the footbridge and end at the park, where festivities will last until 5 p.m.
Bill Sullivan, president of Eugene-Springfield PRIDE, said this new addition will add a lot of support.
"We're really excited about it," said Sullivan. "It's our very first one, so we have a lot of responses for it, a lot of positive response."
Sullivan also said with the increased support has come an outpouring of vendors and sponsors who want to get involved. He said this year there will be over 130 vendors -- double what they had last year.
He was part of the first Eugene PRIDE festivals when they started nearly three decades ago, and he said every year it grows and every year he is surprised by the size of the community response.
"The last five years have just exploded into this massive support from the community -- this year it's just overwhelming."
Community advocate Vincent Mays said the culture of inclusivity in Eugene is great.
"Here in Eugene we have a fabulous community of support," said Mays. "The city is very supportive. The county is very supportive. The vendor community is very supportive."
He said these festivals, these marches, they're all for the current LGBTQ+ youth so that they might grow up in a more inclusive and loving society.
"Every community has got to be supportive of every single LGBTQ+ youth," he added.