Group plans LGBTQ pride festival in southern Illinois

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CARBONDALE, Ill.  — A group is organizing an LGBTQ pride festival in southern Illinois following a successful fundraising campaign.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that the Southern Illinois Pride Festival planning committee is preparing for a three-day celebration in downtown Carbondale starting June 1. The committee’s GoFundMe campaign recently raised $700 to cover the festival’s basic needs.

Committee member Tara Bell-Janowick says the nearest festival is in St. Louis and organizers wanted to create local opportunity.

Organization vice chair Chip Loghry says the event will be particularly important for young people.

More than 20 local and regional organizations are slated to participate. The event will feature a pride walk, a movie screening and live music. A concert and drag show will also be held to benefit the Rainbow Cafe, an LGBTQ center for youth.