Organizers prioritize safety for Ozarks Pridefest 2023 in Springfield, Mo.

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 4:36 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Organizers of Ozarks Pridefest on Park Central Square in Springfield happens on Saturday.

Organizers have added barricades at entrances so cars can’t get through. Organizers said they hired private security and volunteers to watch over participants.

Dr. Kyler Sherman-Wilkins is the president of the Glo Center board of directors. He said they wanted to highlight safety so that everyone can enjoy it.

“We always knew that we would have to prioritize safety,” said Dr. Sherman-Wilkins. “That’s our number one concern.”

Ozarks Pridefest organizers want everyone who comes to the event to feel welcomed.

“We can’t be deterred,” said Sherman-Wilkins. “This is a time for us to come and really celebrate our community to celebrate. You can expect an awesome family-friendly event.”

This means a parade, speakers, performances, and vendors. Sherman-Wilkins said volunteers with Ozark pride lanyards will be easy to spot if there are any issues.

“Make sure that you stay vigilant and report things, travel in groups,” said Sherman-Wilkins.

Organizers understand there may be protesters.

“That’s one of the beautiful things about being in this country is that we do have the right to protest,” said Dr. Sherman-Wilkins. “So just ignore the protesters if they are indeed there.”

Dr. Sherman-Wilkins said security will be there if there are any problems and hopes it goes smoothly.

“Now more than ever, the community feels they really need to be in the community with each other,” said Dr. Sherman-Wilkins.

The Springfield Police Department’s spokesperson said they will be ready should anything happen.

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