“A chance to be ourselves, to celebrate who we are,” at Pride Festival

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Central Oregon celebrated diversity Saturday at the annual Pride Festival in Drake Park.

The event was an opportunity for everyone, not just those in the LGBTQ+ community, to be themselves. 

“There just not being a care, you know. Everybody is just here for it, everybody is here to celebrate together,” said RJ Quiris

president of Out Central Oregon, the group hosting the event.

“I’m from the older generation where you were closeted and you hid and lived in shame, and now it’s all about being free,” said festival goer Dick Falxa.

“To be among the community, people who accept us, you know and meet new friends, and maybe something else you never know,” laughed Sophia Theotokatos of Bend.

The event kicked off with a 5K run/walk and Drag Dash with drag queens dashing around a course to cheers and applause.

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