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New Richmond's first Pride event is a learning process for many

a pride flag
Cecilie Johnsen

New Richmond will host its first Pride festival this weekend. Organizers say they'll have a pub crawl, a dog parade, live music and a drag brunch. Jesse Luxe says it's important for marginalized communities like LGBTQ people and for New Richmond itself.

"Because we're breaking down those barriers and stereotypes and we're trying to bring in the idea that small towns like us are a lot more inclusive than people think," Luxe says.

She says when it was first discussed, there was opposition. But as the discussion continued, there was a change. "Even people that had not been as receptive before have reached out to us and talked to us. As a long-time resident of New Richmond, I didn't realize how many people were there that were truly supportive."

Luxe says the process has made her look at her community differently, recognizing she had some preconceived notions about her small town.

"I was a little bit stereotyping those people too and I feel like that's not where change starts. You gotta kinda be willing to have conversations and talk to people," she says. "Even my neighbor, I really had doubts about him. But he's been in my corner this whole time."

Luxe says she hopes other people "push away the small town stigma and come down and visit. I think it's really going to be something and I think it's gonna make a difference in our community."

New Richmond Pride starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday.

Bill Rinehart started his radio career as a disc jockey in 1990. In 1994, he made the jump into journalism and has been reporting and delivering news on the radio ever since.