By WCCO-TV Staff

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The 49th annual Twin Cities Pride Festival is set to be held at Loring Park on July 17 – 18 and will feature local BIPOC and LGBTQ+ vendors, food courts, a beer garden, and music stages.

Although Pride is returning this year, the festival is foregoing the Saturday night concert, fireworks, and a parade is not planned at this time.

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Hours will be 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. both Saturday, July 17 and Sunday, July 18 at Loring Park in Minneapolis.

Pride’s Executive Director, Dot Belstler, says the recent lift on the mask mandate has made planning events much easier.

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“We are thrilled with the Governor’s new guidance affecting events,” said Belstler. “It means large outdoor events, including our largest fundraiser, the Pride Festival, can happen again! Our primary concern is for the health of the LGBTQ+ community, which is more likely to be affected by COVID and other health concerns, so there will be some modifications to the traditional layout.”

Event officials say booths will be spread further apart for social distancing and attendees are encouraged to follow COVID-safe precautions. The Minnesota Department of Health is planning a COVID vaccination clinic on-site as well.

Other Pride events taking place include the Grand Marshal MASK-queerade and Art Show on June 17, the Family Fun Day on June 20, and the Rainbow Run on June 27.

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“We can’t wait to see you, so please stay well, get vaccinated, and lend a hand if you are able,” said Belstler.