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PRIDE kicks off in downtown Las Vegas as some long for more extravagant celebration

Posted at 11:58 PM, Oct 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-20 03:07:39-04

People lined the streets for the 21st Annual PRIDE Parade in downtown Las Vegas Friday night.

The parade kicks off a weekend of activities, but some of the people 13 Action News talked to along the parade route said they would like to see Las Vegas take its PRIDE celebration up a notch.

There are few cities that have the reputation for extravagance that Las Vegas does, but some people said the celebration doesn't mirror the city's reputation.

"Right now Las Vegas isn't there yet," said Ty Hardy. "Other parades; San Diego, D.C., New York, obviously they are bigger. We are getting there. This is great seeing all the people who came out, but we are not there yet."

Hardy said he would like to see more participation and publicity, especially since the city's population is so transient making it hard for LGBTQ transplants to get entrenched in the community. 

"I remember the first few years out here I was like, 'oh, there was a parade when did that happen?'" Hardy said. "So you don't have that kind of communication until you are out in the community and you are able to talk to people."

"Yeah, I was expecting it to be big with like showgirls and divas going down the street," said Dana Strong. "But this is really cool too! Everyone put a lot of effort into it."

Some said they travel to Las Vegas for PRIDE precisely because it is smaller. 

"It is smaller. It is more intimate," said Frank Elias. "Which is nice. It's a smaller community. It's like everybody knows everybody here. You see that with the people in the parade and on the sidelines."

This year one of Southern Nevada's most prominent LGBTQ organizations was absent from the PRIDE parade. 

In a statement the Gay and Lesbian Community Center said:

 "Our hope is that once this weekend's festivities are concluded that ALL of the LGBTQ serving organizations around the valley will be able to come together to make a PRIDE for everyone, represented by everyone to showcase everyone and every community."

The Center says it will be working with the festival's leadership to participate next year. 

The PRIDE Festival begins Saturday at Sunset Park.