DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) — Thousands of people are in Durham this weekend for the 32nd N.C. Pride Fest.
People lined streets near Duke’s East Campus for a parade Saturday afternoon.
Organizers say it’s the largest LGBTQ event in a five-state area.
People we spoke with say the festival is a chance to show younger generations the paths that have been paved for them – and highlight challenges still ahead.
Democratic State Representative Chris Sgro, who is also the head of Equality NC , says attendance at the festival is up because of House Bill 2.
“That’s because we’re showing up in record numbers to say we are not this and what can we do to prove to the rest of the country that we are not this. So, we’re showing up not just to have fun, but to register to vote,” said Sgro of Guilford County.
“When we unite, that’s when we show a big unity. We can overcome anything, even the most horrific things like what happened in Pulse Nightclub,” said Luis Serrano from Wilson county
A handful of protesters showed up with signs speaking against the LGBTQ community… citing religious reasons.
Many churches, however, showed up to support the festival with booths and a presence in the parade.
Some event-goers decided to stand next to protesters and dance while the protesters held their signs.