ORLANDO, Fla. - The "Come Out With Pride" festival took over downtown Orlando on Saturday. The huge event brought out hundreds of thousands of people to Lake Eola Park and is one of the largest pride celebrations in the state.
This year's event included all-day entertainment, a parade, and it all wrapped up with a fireworks show.
"It’s contagious almost like you have nothing else to do but smile, wave, and enjoy Pride," said Paris Harper who attended the parade.
The parade route this year began at 4 p.m. on Orange Avenue at Washington Street. More than 100 groups of participants strolled a mile through downtown Orlando.
"I just love it all. It just makes you feel like the times have changed from way back when it used to be, and we can all come together," said AJ Richardson who attended the parade.
Organizers said that given the current political climate, along with threats at other pride events around the nation, safety was a top priority.
"We will have metal detectors, and we are asking folks to have clear bags," said the executive director of Come Out With Pride, Tatiana Quiroga. "The festival itself is barricaded in but this year it’s completely locked down. There are specific entry points. We have four specific entry points with several exits."
The city of Orlando is feeling united as thousands celebrate Pride together.
"We’re just all about togetherness," said Melvin Morales who also attended the parade. "After everything that happened to our city, we just love that everyone came together as one."