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Watertown Pride event sparks controversy after learning about drag performance

Organizers, Trent and Robin Kangas shared that they have every intention to make the first Pride in the Park event family-friendly.
Posted at 5:44 PM, Jul 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-29 18:44:27-04

WATERTOWN, Wis. — A Pride event in Watertown has sparked controversy after locals learned there would be a drag show performance.

The event, Pride In the Park, was organized by the Unity Project of Watertown, a local LGBTQIA+ organization working to spread inclusivity throughout the Watertown community. The event is set to take place at Riverside Park Saturday at 3 p.m.

For weeks locals in the Watertown community have voiced their concerns at the city's common council meetings. Many share concerns that the event featuring a drag show might seem explicit and sexual.

Organizers Trent and Robin Kangas shared that they have every intention to make the first Pride in the Park event family-friendly.

"We had watched some of the drag performances at other events to make sure that it was family-friendly," said Robin Kangas.

Despite the explanation fliers, claims that the two organizers were grooming children began to circulate through town.

"They had linked to a nationally known hate group site. They called my husband a groomer and another organizer of the event a groomer, and it's absolutely unacceptable to be doing that," said Robin Kangas.

Kangas shared that Watertown Police helped in removing the fliers and have organized extra security measures like barricades surrounding the park.

"We've had one meeting with the protesters and the police and the people organizing it and they have said that they don't know how many people will be showing up but they estimate between 100-500," said Robin.