This past weekend’s Orlando Pride Parade was a memorial and celebration. The Florida’s city annual parade, called Come Out with Pride, paid homage to the first responders, Pulse nightclub employees, and victims of the early June attack.
The parade was scheduled for early fall, but was rescheduled due to Hurricane Matthew. According to WESH 2 News, approximately 150,000 attended the festival.
City Commissioner Patty Sheehan, the city’s first openly LGBTI elected official, led a prayer circle before the start of the parade.
‘We’re going to show that America is one and strong,’ Sheehan said, according to WESH. ‘Just like we have shown that Orlando is one and strong.’
Sheehan was one of the parade’s multiple community grand marshals. According to the event’s website, joining her were the Orlando Police Department and Chief John Mina, Orlando Fire Department, Pulse employees and family members of victims, Orlando Regional Medical Center staff, Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs, and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
On 12 June, Omar Mateen fatally shot 49 people at the gay club on its Latin Night; 53 were injured.
The festival ended with a firework display over Lake Eola. As reported by the Orlando Sentinel, a small fire started on one of the firework barges on the lake. Because the damage was minimal, and no one was injured, the firework show continued.