Thousands of people gathered downtown Sunday afternoon for the largest event of the Portland Pride Festival.

The parade had people lining the streets, ready to cheer on the biggest Pride Parade Portland has ever seen.

“Every year it gets longer and longer because more people want to participate and show their pride,” said James Waldner, president of Pride Northwest.

The parade is considered the festival’s main event during the weekend-long celebration.

“I feel like there’s more people in the parade than there was last year,” said Daron Webb.

Those marching included groups like Nike, Alaska Airlines, and Portland Police.

“Some of the crews have been a lot bigger than I thought they would be,” said Emily Allen.

Then there was marcher Nathaniel Boehme. He said he is the first ever active military member in all of Oregon and Washington to be given official permission to wear his military uniform in a Pride parade.

“I was really in awe, truthfully,” said Boehme. “This is the third year that I’ve made the request.”

He continued, “For myself, as a gay service member 15 years serving in the Air Force, Iraq veteran, I love every part of this community in Portland and the community I serve.”

Whether people were in the parade Sunday or standing on the sideline, they all shared the same message.

“Just being able to be myself and not be ashamed of it,” said Ashton Varner.

Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.



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