Kasson teen wins t-shirt design contest for Rochester Pride 2023

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(ABC 6 News) – It’s not every day you get your artwork on a t-shirt, let alone the t-shirt for this year’s Rochester Pride event. That’s the case for one Kasson teen.

14-year-old Caelynn Petersilie designed this year’s shirt and this wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for a Facebook post. Caelynn’s mom saw the competition to design the shirt and encouraged them to sign-up. More than 400 votes helped pick the winning design. To put it into a few words – Caelynn said they were “bamboozled.”

“I was just very grateful that people actually appreciated my art so much that they would want to buy a shirt of it,” Petersilie told ABC 6 News.

“It was definitely a rush of just all the emotions and I was just so grateful that I had this opportunity and I took it. And it worked!”

As the winner, they will get their own booth at the event. Caelynn plans on selling pride earrings and stickers with the t-shirt design. A design, inspired by family memories at Silver Lake Park.

Growing up, Caelynn went there with their parents and grandparents. Feeding geese, walking the dog and just hanging out. Not wanting to copy other designs, Caelynn wanted to make the design personal while also recognizing many have their own memories at Silver Lake.

“I just went on this like tunnel of what does Rochester mean to me? What can I draw? How can that look? I ended up obsessing with it all night and I ended up drawing everything out the next day.”

Caelynn said the hardest part was trying to figure out what Rochester means because they wanted to focus on its diverse community.

They said they love art and are continuously drawing. One day, they might even become a professional artist.

Rochester Pride 2023 is May 20 from 12-5 p.m. at Soldiers Field Park. If you are interested in buying a shirt, you can click here. All funds go back to Rochester Pride.