Battle Creek Pride Festival wraps up with candlelight vigil

Battle Creek Pride Festival wraps up with candlelight vigil. (Jason Puhr WWMT)

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Pride Festival wrapped up in Battle Creek on Sunday with a candlelight vigil.

Organizers told Newschannel 3’s Jason Puhr that the event has brought unity to the community.

The Pride Festival is wrapped up its second year in Battle Creek with a candlelight vigil held at 9 p.m. at the Sojourner Truth Monument Park.

Pride and unity began on Sunday with a Blessing of the Bikes at First Congregational Church.

Deana Spence, President of Battle Creek Pride, said, “The festival was more than we could have hoped for. It was at least double the size from the year before. So, that's a really good sign of things to come."

The increased support means the world for Jaimie Fales, an administrator with First Congregational Church,

Fales said, “I have a 4-year-old and to watch him be able to watch a drag show and experience that, and to be able to wear his rainbow shirt and be able to proud of who his family is, and be proud of how his family loves, it means everything."

The weekend of smiles will end on a somber note on Sunday with a candlelight vigil which starts at 9 p.m.

Spence said, "The vigil tonight is to honor those in our community that have lost their lives whether it be to suicide, homicide. Due to the nature of how we're not accepted sometimes.”

Overall, organizers said the weekend has been a success.

Spence said, "Great reception from the entire city. The Vice Mayor came out to the festival yesterday, and they have been more than supportive of us."