PHOTOS: Out In The Midwest At Iowa City Pride

A bastion of tolerance in the Midwest, Iowa City hosted its annual Pride parade and festival on Saturday. The procession began at College Green Park at noon and saw hundreds of participants spreading the rainbow along downtown’s Pedestrian Mall.

It was quite like most other parades—families, civic groups, floats, balloons (okay, rainbow balloons, but still). “These days, we’re very blessed in Iowa to have achieved pretty much 99 percent equality,” Bridget Malone, co-chair of the Iowa City Pride Committee, tells The Daily Iowan. “We are celebrating the LGBT pride in our community, pride in Iowa City, and pride for all of the positive changes that are happening in America.”

One of those changes is the inclusion of the first official color guard in the parade’s 40-year history: Three out service members led the procession carrying the American, Iowa state and Pride flags.

Said Malone, “It’s a big step up and a very symbolic thing for us.”

Click through for more images from Iowa City Pride 2012

Photos: Alan Light