Hastings Pride celebrates fourth-annual festival

Local4 News at 6 Saturday
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 11:21 AM CDT
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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - A celebration of pride took place in the Tri-Cities, as Hastings Pride held their fourth-annual festival on Saturday. Around 600 people gathered at Highland Park to celebrate pride.

Attendees also participated in a march from the park to Russ’s Market. Officials said pride stands on entertainment, visibility and education. Adding, visibility makes others aware of who they are.

“Well it’s really a matter of showing the community at large how large a queer community there is here in Hastings and the surrounding area,” said Randal Kottwitz, Director of Hastings Pride. “When you send 500 people marching down the street it’s kinda hard not to see us; and sometimes the biggest goal of activism can be just to be seen.”

Kottwitz said Hastings Pride is attempting to bring a queer festival to the community next year. He also addressed the latest bill against the community as a waiting game.

“We’re kind of waiting right now because of the lawsuit from the ACLU,” Kottwitz said. “The ACLU has sued because there’s two different items in the law, instead of just one like the Nebraska constitution requires. So I think the majority of our community is sitting back and waiting for that lawsuit to take its place.”

Kottwitz said this year Hastings Pride is lucky to have the woman who fought for them as their guest speaker.

“I want to make sure that the people that I’ve been fighting for can see that I’m still fighting for them; and that we’re not giving up,” said Senator Machaela Cavanugh, of District 6 of Omaha. “Just because we lost one fight, doesn’t mean we’ve lost the war; and that they matter and they’re worth fighting for. So I’m going to keep showing up for them so that they know that they aren’t in this alone.”

Senator Cavanugh said she joined the fight against LB 574 because it attacked a minority population. Adding, she’s not involved in ACLU’s lawsuit against the state of Nebraska.