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Pride in the Park returns to North Idaho one year after members of hate group are arrested

Pride in the Park is taking place Saturday, June 3rd from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene City Park and Bandshell.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — One year ago, 31 members of the Patriot Front were arrested in Coeur d'Alene, close by where the annual Pride in the Park was being held.

Now, as the North Idaho Pride Alliance gets ready to host this year's event, Executive Director Dr. Sarah Lynch says they're moving on and looking forward to people coming out and celebrating Pride.

"This is a community that needs pride, and they need the North Idaho Pride Alliance," said Dr. Lynch. "And I think, you know, that's why coming back and doing it again, this year is so important, but also getting the message out as to what the North Idaho Pride Alliance is and what we do. You know, we envision in North Idaho where LGBTQIA+ people can belong and where they can connect and where they're empowered to thrive."

This year, Pride in the Park will feature even more vendors and entertainment as well as an even bigger crowd.

"There's almost 70 vendors as compared to a little over 50 last year," said Dr. Lynch. "We also have enjoyed the same level of sponsorship, if not more, this year. And we also do have the Mayor who's signing a pride proclamation for the city. So we're really excited to have one of the city council members here to read that proclamation as part of the opening ceremonies for Pride in the Park."

Just like last year, they do still have procedures in place to make sure that everyone has a fun but safe time.

"This year, you know, our safety plan is going to be that much more comprehensive," said Dr. Lynch. "And we're going to make sure that, you know, we still have the do not engage protocol, but we've got a safety team who's trained in de-escalation to make sure that folks stay safe."

Dr. Lynch says the most important thing is that people feel safe and welcome at Pride in the Park and that the Inland Northwest community knows there are people out there who support them.

"It's an opportunity for people to celebrate the ability to live authentically, I think it's also a place where those who aren't safe to live authentically can come to seek help and support," said Dr. Lynch. "And then it's also a time for us to remember those who sacrificed greatly, in order for us to enjoy the rights we have today to be authentic, in who we love. So, you know, I've heard people say before that pride saves lives. And I 100% believe that."

Pride in the Park is taking place Saturday, June 3rd from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Coeur d'Alene City Park and Bandshell.

WATCH RELATED: Police arrest 31 people with ties to white nationalist hate group near Pride event in Coeur d'Alene 

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