FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) — After months of heated debate, the Franklin Pride festival is on.
Franklin’s mayor cast the tie-breaking vote, granting the festival its event permit.
“It was really a surprise to us,” said Clayton Klutts, the president of Franklin Pride.
Many might be wondering what led to the Franklin Pride Festival’s fate being left in the hands of city leaders.
Klutts said it came as a shock, adding, “We had our festival for two years to great success. We’ve gotten almost no negative comments. It’s been almost universally positive. We were really taken aback last year with the controversy over our festival.”
According to Klutts, the controversy was over drag performances on stage that some people didn’t approve of.
“They took that and somehow reimagined our event as being pornographic, an adult cabaret, and that was just a very different experience for those of us who were here,” Klutts said.
Klutts said the videos that city leaders mentioned were reviewed by the District Attorney General last year, who decided not to pursue it further.
“I’ve only seen one video, and it was just a dancer. To me, there’s been no evidence of any of the allegations about the improper conduct at our festival,” Klutts said.
Still, many were against the festival, even after the group voluntarily decided not to include a drag show in this year’s festivities.
“Knowing that, we had the police department here providing security, if we’d seen something like that, we would have stopped it. It seemed that the issues were more related to just the fact that we’re here and having a festival,” Klutts said.
Now, all Franklin Pride is focused on is making this the best festival yet.
Klutts tells News 2 there won’t be any restrictions on their event.
Franklin Pride will be held on June 3 at Harlinsdale Park.