Monday, June 26, 2006

We Love a Parade

Because of the bucks:

Of course there were the drag queens, the marching band playing "YMCA" and the inflatable homage to the male anatomy atop a flatbed truck -- all the stuff that veteran Minneapolis GLBT Pride parade watcher Kirby Moore called "the silly glitter element."

But with thousands of people lining Hennepin Avenue, Sunday's 34th annual parade celebrating the metro area's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered (GLBT) community was possibly more about business than pleasure. ....

Volunteers riding in the Wells Fargo stagecoach tossed candy and beads to the crowd. A fleet of Saturn vehicles followed with water bottles and Frisbees. Ikea, General Mills, Chipotle, United Parcel Service and Affordable Granite and Stone of Minnetonka all had contingents in the parade.

"It's about the homosexual dollar," said Robert Lindquist, 40, of Minneapolis.

In the park, American Family Insurance, 3M and ING financial services had booths, as did Accurate Home Loans of Bloomington.

Julie Appel, owner of Accurate Home Loans, said she tries to get to several gay pride events every year. She said she makes more contacts at the Minneapolis GLBT Pride events than at any of the other events where she has displays, including the Women's Expo and the Minneapolis Convention Center's home and garden show.

"I've always thought it was a great community to be involved with," Appel said. "The most important thing is that they're very supportive of businesses that are supportive of them. That's why everybody comes to this event -- to support each other."

Show her the money.

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