Springfield Technical Community College students, faculty and staff joined the first ever LGBTQIA+ Pride parade in Springfield on Saturday, June 4.

The parade started at the STCC campus at 10 a.m. Marchers included Dr. Shai Butler, Vice President of Advancement and External Affairs and Lidya Rivera-Early, Director of Community Engagement, among others. They marched and celebrated their way down State Street toward Court Square for a block party in front of City Hall.

STCC student Lyly Dixson, a Springfield resident who works as a tutor for TRIO Student Support Services, volunteered her time to help set up. She also was a flag-bearer.

“Being at Pride – and being at the first Pride event – was so amazing to me,” Dixson said. “I didn’t even realize this was the first Pride parade in Springfield. I participated because this is an integral part of our society. We can’t exclude people because we don’t agree with people’s lifestyles.”

Dixson said she was excited that people are already talking about next year’s parade. This year’s parade featured live music, games, floats, food. and more.