Kentuckiana Pride Festival celebrates 'tight-knit community,' ho - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentuckiana Pride Festival celebrates 'tight-knit community,' honors Orlando victims

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The march was on Friday as thousands packed downtown Louisville for the start of the the Kentuckiana Pride Festival. 

The local festival comes less than a week removed from the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

For the start of the parade, you might have expected a lot of music and commotion.

Instead, it was a much more somber scene.

A horse-drawn funeral carriage made its way down Main Street carrying a single casket draped with a rainbow flag.

 Quietly behind it, a group carried the pictures of the 49 people killed in the mass shooting in Orlando. 

"The gay community is a very tight-knit community," Alex Hex said. "Somebody knows somebody that is affected."

In the wake of the Orlando shooting, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer not only walked in the pride parade, but he called on the entire community to come together and join him in the march.

"That is really the point here," Mayor Fischer said. "We are one people. Some people might want to try and divide. There is no future in that, so it's wonderful to see the response in our community."

"Colors" handmade jewelry has been setting up shop at the Kentuckiana Pride Festival for the past 10 years. This year, they are making personalized bracelets to remember the lives lost in Orlando. 

All the proceeds from the bracelets are is going to victims' families.

"We are standing tall," said Robin Ries with Colors. "We are here for Orlando, we are here for us, and we are not going to be run out."

The parade and the festival carried on. Those that marched were vibrant and lively.

The silver-lining for them? They wanted to be loud and proud for those that no longer have the chance to express themselves.

"You can't be scared of coming out,' Kelsey Moore said. "Like you have to keep showing your support ... I think it's great that people are out here and not being afraid." 

Added security measures were taken heading into the two-day event. 

Other than a lot of traffic in the area, officials say they've had no major incidents to report. 

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