Orange County Celebrates Region’s Most Colorful Parade at Come Out with Pride
Central Florida’s annual Come Out with Pride parade and festival, the largest LGBTQ+ event in the region, has grown to host thousands of visitors from across Florida, the U.S. and beyond. An estimated 170,000 guests gathered in downtown Orlando on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, to celebrate the pride and diversity in the region and the inclusive community that has been fostered by LGBTQ+ individuals and allies alike.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and District 5 Commissioner Emily Bonilla along with Orange County employees, joined other Central Florida leaders and community organizations for “The Most Colorful Parade” around Lake Eola Park.
The parade and festival featured family-friendly vendors and activities in addition to local and celebrity talent, who provided entertainment throughout the day. The festivities culminated a full week of scheduled events to celebrate Pride Week in Orlando.
After the parade, guests gathered at the Walt Disney Amphitheater for the Pride Rally to recognize the importance of diversity and inclusion, as well as LGBTQ+ champions, allies and advocates throughout the community.
“The continued support for Come Out with Pride demonstrates how strong and resilient our community is. It’s more important than ever for us to show unity and compassion; and lead with love and kindness,” Mayor Jacobs said during her remarks. “It’s important that we continue to set an example for future generations to learn from, while also serving as a beacon of light and hope for the world.”
After her remarks, Mayor Jacobs presented a proclamation declaring Oct. 13, 2018 as Come Out with Pride Orlando Day in Orange County.
“We are honored to have the support of our elected officials,” Board President of Come Out with Pride Jeff Prystajko said. “Our core initiative is to bring people together. We hope that our diverse series of events, as well as what we have accomplished today, will encourage more people to become active in uplifting our Central Florida LGBTQ+ community.”
Created in 2005, Come Out with Pride, Inc. is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization inspired to make an impact in Orlando’s LGBTQ+ community. The organization welcomes the community to come together and celebrate diverse communities. Come Out with Pride, Inc. is also dedicated to supporting the community through grants and scholarships via its Pride Gives Back program, which provided more than $30,000 back to LGBTQ+ students and businesses in 2017. The Come Out with Pride parade and festival is celebrated during the first weekend in October to align with National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11 and National Gay and Lesbian History Month.
Photo Caption: Mayor Teresa Jacobs presented a proclamation to guests and Board President and Operations Director for Come Out With Pride Jeff Prystajko at the Walt Disney Amphitheater at Lake Eola Park in Orlando on Oct. 13, 2018.