The Twin Cities Pride Parade was back on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis on Sunday, and for some, not a moment too soon.
In 2020, the pandemic forced cancellation of Pride, and last year things were still limited.
Not in 2022.
Rainbow flags, lanyards, tee shirts, balloons, hair, and other assorted items filled the streets and sidewalks on Hennepin and Nicollet Mall, where staging took place.
Loud, upbeat music filled the air, with people swaying in time or letting it rip and dancing like no one was watching.
It was a joyous reprieve from the past few days.
"Our current political situation is a word I can't say out loud I guess," said Becky Michael. "Seeing everyone come together is very exciting and heartwarming, 'cause Friday was a really crappy day."
She was referring to the day the US Supreme Court struck down Roe versus Wade, with one justice writing in an opinion that he and his colleagues have a right to revisit same-sex intimacy and marriage.
"We've got lots of people who are discriminated against on a daily basis and we need to figure that out, I thought that in my lifetime we would have figured this out, and we haven't yet," said Russell Peterson.
The Twin Cities Pride Parade traces its roots back to 1972, when fifty people took part in a protest on Nicollet Mall three years after the Stonewall Riots pushed the gay pride movement front and center.
On Sunday, many of the groups marching in the parade numbered far more than fifty, with the sidewalks packed 10-12 deep all the way along the route that ended at Loring Park.
"Just have fun and be yourself," said Tyler Seagraves.
The longevity of the event wasn't lost on parade goers.
"It means there's strength," said Ben Michael. "They've got a lot of good people, lot of good power here. They're showing who they are. They're doing what they want. It's powerful."