Fresno's 32nd Rainbow Pride parade kicks off this weekend

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- This weekend, Fresno's Tower District will be filled with thousands of people, all to celebrate the return of the Rainbow Pride parade.

There are 80 parade entries and 130 booths this year.

The fun starts on Olive Avenue, and festivities will follow at Fresno City College.

Tracie Cisneros has been a volunteer coordinator for the last five years.

"Everybody makes that day so inclusive. I have never felt anything like that before. I never felt so much joy from so many people just happy to be here," says Tracie.

This year's theme honors the late Jeffery Robinson, a prominent LGBTQ+ rights activist in Fresno.

The theme "In Pride" was his email sign-off.

Tracy explains, "Robinson was a huge leader for the queer community in Fresno. He touched every single member of this community, especially the youth in the community, running the youth group."

This year, the parade has more sponsors than ever before, including three platinum sponsors who donated $10,000 each.

It is the first time they have ever had one in 32 years.

Bryan Cauwels is the chairperson for Rainbow Pride and has been working behind the scenes to line up sponsors.

"There is a lot of expense that goes into this event. It is not just show up and having a parade and a festival. It is a year-long process and it costs a lot of money to do, so we are really grateful for everyone who sponsors us because that is how we can pay for it," says Bryan.

Organizers say it costs $35,000-$40,000 to put on the parade.

But volunteers say the time, money and effort are worth it because this parade shows the younger LGBTQ+ community that they have support.

The parade kicks off this upcoming Saturday at 10 am in the Tower District.

Free parking and transportation to and from Fresno City College will be available starting at 8am.

Festivities will start at 11am at Fresno City College. For details, click here.

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