Portland Pride Parade louder and prouder for Orlando - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland Pride Parade louder and prouder for Orlando

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PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

The Portland Pride Parade and Festival had all the usuals Sunday: rainbows, cheers, funky costumes and marching bands, but there was no mistaking thousands of signs held for Orlando and the feeling of a crowd united in both pride and grief.

“I’m sure it’s on everyone’s mind here,” said Portland resident Victor Mercado as he waited to march in the parade. "It's so recent and affected this community so much."

Tens of thousands came for Portland’s annual event, including Governor Kate Brown, who said she felt a mixture of emotions. 

“We need to work together to create communities of love and tolerance here in Oregon and around the country,” Brown said. “This is the United States of America — people should be who they are. People have the right to love whom they wish. We cannot let the haters win.”

A woman told Fox 12 that she’d been marching in the parade since the 1989. She’s watched each following celebration grow and grow.

“It really says that our community is accepting,” she said, adding that seeing the sheer number of people is especially touching following the Pulse Nightclub shooting. 

“It really shows how brave people are right now, and how much we’re going to stand up for ourselves and our community,” she added.

New to the parade this year is the Oregon Food Bank.

“We are all very happy and proud to be in the parade this year,” Maryann Brunner. “Our banner today says, 'food for all' and I think that pretty much tells the story.” 

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