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Las Vegas PRIDE Festival kicks off with historic parade in downtown Las Vegas

Posted at 12:17 AM, Oct 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-12 17:43:01-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — PRIDE Festival is underway in downtown Las Vegas. Things kicked off with the annual parade and some history was made Friday night.

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While celebrating 50 years since the Stonewall Riots energized the push for LGBT rights in the United States, PRIDE Las Vegas had a historic moment of its own. Gov. Steve Sisolak took the main stage and talked about meeting a lot of people in the community while campaigning for office last year and then followed by announcing that this year he would be more than just an observer.

“And tonight, on National Coming Out Day, I'm also proud to say that we are the first governor and first lady to march in the parade,” said Gov. Sisolak. “And it is such an honor to be in the PRIDE parade tonight.

“Stonewall is very important,” said Allen Thompson, who attended the parade with his partner of more than three years. “It took one person to incite a change and it started riots, but you know it actually started progression and we moved forward. It's a really beautiful thing.”

The PRIDE festival is now in its 22nd year and has added more events and performers to the three-day celebration of the LGBT community. Some people were attending for the very first time despite being longtime residents.

“It's been a blast so far,” said Roberto Juarez. “Some great floats. Great hosts. And great company. And we are getting ready to go to the festival, so we are really excited.”

And on National Coming Out Day another first timer celebrating three months since she came out to her family.

“This is my first time coming since I'm openly proud about it now,” said Lizeth Alva. “Because I used to be really ashamed of it, but it's making me really happy than I can just come out here and just be who I am.”