Where there’s rain – there’s always a rainbow.
Rain or shine, the festival at Heritage Port was beaming with pride as members of the community came from all over, such as Ohio Valley Pride Ambassador, Jennifer Jonessale, for the 5th annual celebration.
“I just had to get involved. It was such an amazing city, and it was such an amazing program, and it was such an amazing pride parade that even though I’m all the way from Morgantown, West Virginia, I had to come up here and I come up here every year.”Jennifer Jonessale – Vice President of Ohio Valley Pride
Along with spending time at the many vendors, food, and drinks, everyone was welcome to walk together in a pride parade that made its way through the streets of Wheeling, as a way that Ciera Slater says, brought this community together.
“Well, it’s pretty cool because it’s a nonjudgmental place… And then, you see people complimenting you on your appearance, outfits, stuff like that. It’s pretty cool.”Ciera Slater – New Martinsville, West Virginia
It’s fun to look at the flags, shirts, hats, and stickers, but Aaron Ashley from Central Outreach Wellness Center emphasizes the need to promote health services in the LGBTQ+ community, as well.
“Some people say pride is over in June, but here we are because it’s every day. And, you know, we just keep the mission and keep this alive to celebrate out heritage, and for us, to bring healthcare to the community is just an added bonus.”Aaron Ashley – Administrative Support for Central Outreach Wellness Center
The sense of community and pride right here in Wheeling is extremely important, and President of Ohio Valley Pride, Jack Carbasho, says that it would not be possible without the support of city itself.
“I think that this is a very big thing to be able to hold something like this in our own community. I mean, yes, you have neighboring cities – Pittsburgh, Columbus – that hold events like this. But, to be able to do something here in Wheeling, West Virginia is a big thing, and the city being supportive behind it helps to make it so much easier.”Jack Carbasho – President of Ohio Valley Pride
They are continuing the festivities into Sunday, July 24th, from 12pm to 6pm.