WASHINGTON - The haze cleared, the sun was out and a sense of joy was in the air at Washington, D.C.'s Pride Parade Saturday.
The parade kicked off at 3 p.m. with organizers expecting up to 500,000 people to attend. As the event wrapped up, the streets between Logan and DuPont circles were packed with DMV residents and visitors celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.
"It’s just great to get out here and celebrate pride with everybody," said Hunter Swanson.
D.C. government agencies, the embassies of foreign nations, religious groups and large companies with a presence in the DMV were all there, marching to the cheers of the crowd.
"Just to see the community together. This, for me, it opens my heart to see us all together," Jaida Burnett said.
Several attendees told FOX 5's David Kaplan why they felt it was important to show up and show out for the event.
"Love and acceptance — pride just makes me feel joy. I’ve been doing this for over 50-something years," said Mona Del West
"It’s the community coming together to show that we are still here and we’re going to still keep fighting," Alex Ross said.
While organizers promised that there would be a large police presence to keep attendees safe, no incidents were reported and although a representative for the Mayor’s office of LGBTQ Affairs reported that there's been an uptick in rhetoric against these groups, no credible threats were found.
It was a safe celebration that continued into the night with 17th Street in DuPont the epicenter of performers until 10 p.m.