Tens of thousands of people took over the streets of Wilton Manors Saturday for the city’s Stonewall Pride Festival and Parade.
“It’s amazing, always a good time,” said festival-goer Maria Hayes. “I am here supporting, just always a blast.”
The event kicked off at 3 p.m. with a street festival filled with dozens of vendors.
The Twilight parade took over Wilton Drive with NBC 6’s Steve Maclaughlin riding high on a float as one of the grand marshalls.
“There’s so much beautiful self-expression out here right now,” said Karl Gustafson.
City leaders predict the event will generate millions of dollars for the city. It’s a huge bounce back after the pandemic’s impact and after last year’s deadly accident where one person was killed and another was injured at the parade.
Security was heightened with 200 private security officers after a close call last week in Idaho.
Police say 31 people on a U-Haul truck wearing masks and shields from a white supremacy group were arrested for planning to riot at a pride event there.
Festival goers stayed focused on what they came to celebrate.
“Love, that’s it,” Haynes said. “Love wins. Love is everything.”