6th annual Pine Belt Pride march held in Hattiesburg

6th annual Pine Belt Pride march held in Hattiesburg

HATTIESBURG, Miss. (WDAM) - The Spectrum Center and Pine Belt Pride hosted their sixth annual Pride march at Town Square Park in downtown Hattiesburg Saturday.

The event required masks and encourage social distancing.

Spectrum Center representative Keenan Walker says the organization worked to make sure the event could happen amid the pandemic.

“We felt it was important to still have this march, and the city agreed and they did whatever they could to make sure we were here," Walker said. "They helped us with the paperwork reserving the park and contacting the police department to make sure that we have escorts.”

Attendees gathered at Town Square Park before marching around downtown. This year, organizers put the focus on supporting black transgender women and women of color in the community. Walker says anyone in the community who has questions or needs support can reach out to the Spectrum Center.

One volunteer described the importance of holding the march.

“We feel it very important as co-conspirators, and as other people who are somewhere on the spectrum, on the rainbow somewhere, to say, ‘I stand behind you and I support you, and you’re important and your voice is important,'" one volunteer said. “Everything that you are is important, so people are getting to know each other and finding out that they might be the same orientation, the same gender identity. But you connect there and this is literally a village being a village and a family being a family. God does amazing things and he gives you family, and this is what is here so we need them to know that.”

The Pine Belt Pride March around downtown began at 1 p.m.

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