Listen to this article
Pride Parade1

Members of the Urbana High School Gay Straight Alliance wait patiently Saturday near the corner of Main and Walnut streets, Champaign, for the start of this year's Pride Parade.

CHAMPAIGN — Upbeat music, lots of candy, colorful clothing and hundreds of people cheering made for a successful 10th annual Pride parade in downtown Champaign Saturday to highlight the LGBTQ community in this area.

Pride UMC group

Izzy Cain, 13, of Savoy, center, helps hold a banner for the Affirmation Life Group of Faith United Methodist Church of Champaign. To her right is her stepmother, Susie Kundrat. "It's a lot of happiness in this place," said Cain of Saturday's Pride parade in downtown Champaign.

“It’s fun and this is a thing,” said Izzy Cain, 13, of Savoy of her reason for joining in the parade. “It’s a lot of happiness in this place.”

Cain marched next to her new stepmother, Susie Kundrat, with a group from their church, Faith United Methodist Church of Champaign.

0929 loca pride5.jpg

Ginger Lozar, puppeteer, left, displays a puppet of her son, Troy Lozar, right, that she made for his Democratic primary campaign for Champaign County judge. The two took part in Saturday's Pride parade in downtown Champaign.

There were just over 60 entries in the parade that featured politicians, wanna-be politicians, church groups, school children, bus drivers, bank employees, drag queens and more, all united in letting people live their own lives.

Pride Sharice Altman

Sharice Altman of Springifield, a bus monitor for First Student, and co-workers join marchers in Saturday's Pride parade in downtown Champaign.

“We’re coming out. We want the world to know,” sang a group from the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign.

Pride drag queens

Area drag queens walk in Saturday's Pride Parade in downtown Champaign in honor of Gigi Mayonae, a drag performer from Danville, who died two months ago.

The 80-degree temperature, which felt worse because of high humidity, got a slight assist from the overcast skies and a slight breeze. And many parade watchers kept cool with beers from downtown bars as they watched and cheered.

0929 loca pride3.jpg

Members of the Unit 4 Middle School Gay Straight Alliance show their colors in Saturday's Ride parade in downtown Champaign. The students are from Champaign's three middle schools.



Mary Schenk is a reporter covering police, courts and breaking news at The News-Gazette. Her email is, and you can follow her on Twitter (@schenk).