Muncie OUTreach celebrates second year of Pride at Canan Commons

Muncie Pride took place Sept. 2, 2023 in Canan Commons.

Music surrounds a green field filled with people dressed in rainbows spread out to enjoy the performances. 

Muncie OUTreach, Delaware County’s LGBTQ youth group, organized Muncie Pride for a second year at Canan Commons Park on Saturday. The festival was 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

Laura Janney, founder and executive director of OUTreach, focused on improving and learning from the first Pride. 

Janney extended the hours of Pride to seven hours, to give more time for performances and music. More vendors came to the event compared to last year as well.

Due to recent anti-LGBTQ legislation, Janney felt Pride was especially important this year.

“I think people have been very angry,” she said.  “I know there are a lot of people, especially mammas, ready to fight the world to protect their kids. So, having these events, I think they're important because if you've been feeling isolated, a part of the target, then this helps provide community.” 

The theme of community and support was a thread throughout the event. Ball State University’s College of Health tabled at the event to show the University’s support for its students.

Nick Atlas, the director of Ball State Student Services, who organized the table for the College of Health also helped “bridge the gap between the students and the community” by sponsoring shuttle buses from 11 a.m to 4 p.m. to give students a free ride to Pride. 

Atlas, who is also a part of the LGBTQ community as a gay man, felt that it was important to “make sure that [he] represent[s] marginalized community.”

Another table at the event was the Free Mom Hugsof Indiana. Adrianna Randle, a chapter leader of Free Mom Hugs of Indiana, drove an hour and a half from Frankfort to attend Pride. 

Randle believes that the Free Mom Hugs’ attendance is needed to Pride, especially in Indiana due to the recent legislation, to show the LGBTQ community they are free to be who they are. 

Randle said hugs are “not just hugs,” but they make a connection and give people support.

They’re excited to see what Pride will be like in the future. 

Hannah Grushon and Catherine Evans attended Pride together. Evans, a 4th-year early childhood and special education major, and Grushon, a graduate of Earlham College, found the event online and went because they said Pride events are uncommon in Indiana. 

They enjoyed the feeling of sense of community Pride gave. 

At the event, OUTreach advertised Pendleton Pride, which will take place Sept. 23 from noon to 4 p.m. at Falls Park in Pendleton, Indiana.  

Contact Hannah Amos with comments at or on X @Hannah_Amos_394.