Wichita wraps up Pride festival

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WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Wichitans gathered Sunday to celebrate diversity. Part of a weekend celebration hosted by Wichita Pride.

President of Wichita Pride, Travis Hooper says the 2017 festival has had record setting attendance. 

The Wichita Pride parade is to celebrate those in the LGBT community. Folks of all ages headed to Downtown Wichita to support, just ask Joe Mueller and Gary Ricketts, who have yet to miss a Pride event. 

"We've been in the parade every year. When we were younger we used to walk but last we we thought it was easier to ride," Mueller said. 

Mueller and Ricketts have been a couple for 43 years. They said this festival means a lot to them and they are excited seeing more people show up to join the movement. 

"What we've evolved to now. There's still a long way to go as they say, but coming from where we were back them to where we are now is wonderful to see people walk up and down the street," Ricketts said. 

Something Hooper says is important to the LGBT community, especially for the teens. "It's an expression, it's an opportunity to be with your friends and a lot of the time it's about leading and setting an example, these young people you are talking about they need to see somebody doing that. So they know it's okay."

Between parades and shopping ,it even brings in vendors from out of town.

"Wichita is one of my favorite stops, because I've made so many friends here," Stewart Wallace from Tulsa said.

It is a new experience for Aubrey Painter, but one she says she'll never forget.

"I'm just finally at that age where I think it is okay for me to start showing up and representing my self in these kind of events," Painter said.

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