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Tens of thousands celebrate at Pittsburgh Pride, largest turnout in city history

PITTSBURGH — The atmosphere was all about love at Pittsburgh Pride on Saturday.

"New friends, new people, new experiences," said JD Skull, of the North Side.

"For everybody to get together like this here in the Pittsburgh area, it means a lot," said Mariah Folk, of McKeesport.

It was the first day of Pittsburgh's Pride Fest, which took place along the Andy Warhol Bridge and spilled out onto Fort Duquesne Boulevard between Seventh and Ninth streets.

Tens of thousands of people came out for the festivities and to see Toni Braxton perform Saturday night.

"I'm just so excited right now. You have no idea," said Timothy Jones, of Pittsburgh.


Organizers are calling this the largest Pride celebration in Pittsburgh to date.

"To have Pittsburgh Pride be the largest pride festival in the commonwealth says a lot about Pittsburgh. I think it also says a lot about the community that's here, the LGBTTQ community that's here, but more importantly, our allies," said Christine Bryan, the director of marketing and development for the Delta Foundation of Pittsburgh.

This year is even more special because 2019 marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots -- a series of confrontations at a gay bar in New York that are widely seen as the birth of the gay rights movement.

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Members of the LGBTQ community say Pittsburgh has come a long way over the decades.

"Pittsburgh has changed so much since in the past couple of years. You see so much diverse communities and people just coming toegther, especially during pride," Bryan said.

They said some things still need to improve, but they're hopeful to continue moving forward in the next 50 years with acceptance for all, regardless of their differences.

Pittsburgh Pride continued Sunday with the Equality March starting at 12:30 p.m., Pride Fest day two and a closing dance party.