Ybor City welcomed thousands to the Tampa Pride Parade on Saturday to celebrate the LGBTQ community and pay tribute to victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
Centro Ybor was packed with events on the strip of Seventh Avenue, including a parade and street festival, all of which were open to the public.
Tampa Pride featured a special ceremony to remember the lives of victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting last June. This was the first Pride event since the shooting occurred.
“Since the shooting, things have been very different,” said Alisha, a Tampa Pride attendee. “It is nice to see everyone come together to support the cause and still see there are people in the community that support what we are doing here.”
Many local and national celebrities came out to support the festival, including Congresswoman Kathy Castor, Mayor Bob Buckhorn, and Scotty Davis, a radio host from 93.3 FL-Z.
Rue, a gay rights activist, spoke about the changes he’s noticed in the over 25 years he’s been attending Pride parades.
“It was mainly a march saying this is who we are and we’re proud to do it,” Rue said. “We didn’t have any elected officials behind us, you know, sponsors to say, so it’s a really different atmosphere.”
The crowd gathered to pay homage to the victims of the shooting in Orlando, while also celebrating the differences that brought them together for such a unique occasion.