So it has been a bit of a roller coaster ride for the Aurora Pride parade. It was on, then it was off, then it was on if enough money could be raised by April 30th to cover the costs of putting on a parade for the City of Aurora. Essentially ….Indivisible Aurora announced the cancellation of the 2019 Aurora Pride Festival due to the inability to cover the full $28,000 cost for City services, including police personnel, security fencing and various event-related charges. The City of Aurora absorbed the much of those security costs for the 2018 inaugural Aurora Pride Parade held last June, but in January 2019 the Aurora City Council passed a new special events ordinance which, in part, requires the costs of private events to be paid for by event organizers and not through public funds by the City. April 30th seemed like a tough deadline to raise so much money ($17,000 was needed). This is what the City’s Mayor had to say about the parade.
“The City never wanted to have the Aurora Pride Festival cancelled. We want to have a fantastic celebration that will bring the same energy and enthusiasm as last year’s event,” said Mayor Irvin who last Friday called for the public to help raise the funds needed to put on this year’s event. “While the City can’t use public funds for the full amount of the parade, we certainly want to provide a public opportunity for our LGBTQ+ community to celebrate. A monetary gap shouldn’t stop the momentum gained in a community filled with passion and pride.”
But the organizers behind the parade couldn’t believe there eyes as overnight a Go Fund Me page not only raised the $17,000 needed but surpassed that amount. Nearly 300 individuals and groups stepped up to raise the money just 22 hours after the GoFundMe page launched, including $1,000 from Aurora’s New England Congregational Church. Currently the amount raised has far surpassed the original goal. Executive director Chuck Adams says that the extra money will be used to pay overages and be put aside to start saving for next years parade.
The people of Aurora and the surrounding areas spoke loud and proud in support of the LGBTQ community and gave them their full support.