Franklin Pride returned to The Park at Harlinsdale Farm for the second year on Saturday, drawing thousands of community members along with numerous participating businesses and organizations.
The event kicked off at noon and at 1 p.m. featured opening remarks by PFLAG-Franklin President Heather Bottoms and Franklin Pride board president Robert McNamara.
Franklin Vice Mayor Brandy Blanton and City Administrator Eric Stuckey took the stage to read aloud a proclamation from the office of Mayor Ken Moore recognizing and celebrating Franklin Pride.
“The City of Franklin is committed to supporting visibility, dignity, and equality for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, and queer, ala LGBTQ people in our diverse community,” the proclamation read in part. “Whereas it’s essential to acknowledge that the need for education and awareness remains vital to end discrimination and prejudice, whereas this nation was founded on the principal that every individual has infinite dignity and worth.”
The celebration featured several stages featuring live entertainment from Major Minors, Blair Bitch and Queens, Dianne Davidson, Madeline Finn, Sisters Mann, Renee Armand, Sissel/Reid Band, Autumn Nicholas, and Fancy Hagood.
Vidalia Anne Gentry emceed the event which was sponsored by dozens of organizations and businesses including presenting sponsor Hardee’s.
“Heather spoke very eloquently earlier about standing on the shoulders of people before us, and we’d like to honor a few of those giants here today that have done an excellent job advocating for the LGBTQ community,” McNamara said.
McNamara recognized PFLAG-Franklin member Marjorie Halbert, Franklin Pride Secretary Ginny Bailey and Board Member David Neal, and Tennessee Equality Project Executive Director Chris Sanders.
McNamara said in a phone call that the event drew an estimated 4,000 attendees
"We feel like we had an excellent turnout," McNamara said. "That's what it's all about, bringing people together. They don't always get a chance to have that in their workplace or at home, so it's just an incredible feeling to see people be able to be authentic and have a great day."
More information about Franklin Pride can be found here.