Parade kicks off 2017 Stonewall Columbus Pride

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — People from all across the state paraded along in floats, threw beads and danced to the beat of their own drum in the Short North Arts District. Everyone coming together for one thing in common and that is to celebrate Columbus Pride.

This is the 36th year for the parade. Back in 1981 when the march first started there were only 200 people in attendance. Now, more than half a million will celebrate at the parade and at the festival downtown.

“It is a great day. Everybody can come out, be wonderful, show their fabulousness,” said local drag queen, Hellin Bedd.

For many pride week and this parade is about celebrating acceptance and how far society has come.

“Since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, we are definitely working on a cultural shift within the military and the VA. We are really working hard to make sure that all of our vets know that they are welcome and we serve all that have served,” said Jessica Homan, with the Department of Veteran Affairs.

For the first time, reality show celebrity Miss Coco Montrese from RuPaul’s Drag Race and All Stars excited the crowd.

“To see the unity and the inclusiveness of everyone, gay, straight, bisexual, everyone is here to support us and it means a lot,” said Miss Coco. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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