Sioux Falls Pride Announces Security Plan For Saturday’s Event
Over two dozen members of a white supremacist organization were arrested over the weekend in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho for planning on disrupting a local Pride event. Two Sioux Falls men were among those arrested.
In light of this event, the folks at Sioux Falls Pride released a statement about safety and security at this weekend's (June 18) Pride event and parade in downtown Sioux Falls.
The Associated Press is reporting that according to local police and videos of the arrests Saturday, the men arrested were planning on rioting in the small northern Idaho city.
In Coeur d’Alene on Saturday, police found riot gear, one smoke grenade, shin guards and shields inside the van after pulling it over near a park where the North Idaho Pride Alliance was holding a Pride in the Park event, Coeur d’Alene Police Chief Lee White said. - Associated Press
MORE: Two South Dakota Men Among the 31 Arrested in Idaho on Riot Charges
Sioux Falls Pride Prepares For This Year's Event
“The number one concern at our events is creating a space for the LGBTQA+ and Two Spirit people of South Dakota to be safe,” says Sioux Falls Pride Board Member Rachel Polan said in the statement. “Our board of directors has been aware of potential protestors at our events for several years and have an ongoing safety plan for all public gatherings.”
Organizers of Saturday's activities in Sioux Falls say that the security plan includes private security, controlled access to the festival area, and information for event volunteers.
“We’re communicating with the security company we’ve hired for the event to make sure they have a heightened awareness of the nationwide protests and the possibility for protestors at our event,” Polan added. “We also have the benefit of hosting our festival on private property this year so we can refuse entry to protestors if necessary.”
The 2022 Sioux Falls Pride Festival kicks off with a parade down 8th street downtown at 10:00 AM Saturday, June 18. The festival will follow at the 8th and Railroad Center in downtown Sioux Falls. It runs from 11:00 AM until 5:00 PM.
NEED TO KNOW: Sioux Falls Pride 2022 – Festival and Parade Info