Folks in the area have seen several planned or impromptu “Trump parades” over the last few weeks and months, both on the roads and on the water. A different kind of parade is coming to Carmi this weekend however. Born just a week ago, a 20 year old Carmi woman has created and is receiving what she calls a surprising amount of support for the event. A Carmi Pride parade will be held on Saturday and Sunday, October 17th and 18th.
Christine Hunter, the young lady behind the event created a facebook group on October 10th and she says she was not expecting the amount of interest it’s received. As of Friday morning, Carmi Pride has more than 580 members and more than 100 people are expected to take part in the ride around town.
Hunter describes the social media platform private group as an all inclusive one aimed at showing support, appreciation, and love for the LGBTQ+ community. The young group has already created it’s share of controversy however with most of it taking place on the social network. Some have claimed it’s an anti-Trump rally and in it’s infancy at least one Carmi woman opposed showed up to Hunter’s place of employment to air her grievances. The controversy even spilled over onto other facebook pages at one point.
Hunter says “everyone is and always has been welcome [in the group]. You are free to support whoever you like – that’s the beauty of freedom – but there will be no talk of supporting political candidates who vote against us or try to strip us of rights in this group. It’s a loving, judgement free zone.”
Originally, the group planned to meet at the former Rural King parking lot in Carmi, but as talk of the event grew, so did concern over whether that was an acceptable location to gather. Being private property, Hunter decided to move the rally point to a public park.
Those participating are expected to gather both Saturday and Sunday to begin their loops around town at 5pm. We’ll have more on the event in a recap early next week.