Saturday saw one of the largest GLBT gatherings in the South, as thousands came out to play at the 2012 Nashville Pride Festival.
This is the 24th year Pride has been held in Nashville, and organizers say it's the biggest yet. The festival began with an Equality Walk along Broadway and Demonbreun before continuing with almost 100 vendors and several performances on three stages throughout Riverfront Park.
Some of those attending said it's important to hold this festival every year because it helps the community not only celebrate the advances they have made but also the things they still want to accomplish.
"I was actually adopted by two moms, so I'm very proud to be here; so I'm here for them, and I'm here for everybody," Jennifer Whitcomb-Oliva told O&AN affiliate News Channel 5 over the weekend. "I think it's really important because we have to let everyone know it's okay to be who you are to be yourself. And it's just feels good when you're with a group of people and everybody's chanting it and everybody's saying it. It's just a good feeling."
The festival didn't come without controversy. Several protesters also set up downtown to denounce the festival, but overall everyone stayed peaceful.
Out & About Newspaper estimates over 500 participants in the Equality Walk and over 8,000 in attendance for the entire festival. The official numbers will be released by Nashville Pride later this week.