The gay community has a lot to be happy about this year, including the repeal of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," and President Obama's support for gay marriage
More than 100,000 people are expected to celebrate in St. Pete at the 10th annual Pride Festival.
It's shaping up to be the biggest year since it began. The night before St. Pete streets fill with pride, the buzz was building at a preview fashion show at Macy's, with a colorful accessory.
"The rainbow pride, and you see all the pride around here, the rainbow. There's a color for each thing—straight, gay, bi, transgender, so it's all represented," said emcee Jai Rodriguez.
St. Pete Pride has been organizing events like this for months, but the big event is the parade Saturday morning.
"I sort of feel like St. Pete's sweetheart," said Christine O'Leary. The comedian will be the mistress of ceremonies this year.
"You have beautiful, incredible leadership here, progressing community. The museums are here. The beautiful people are here and their pride is like no other," she said.
St. Pete Pride began in 2002, just a few hundred strong.
"It's our 10th anniversary. I don't think anybody ever expected us to happen. It's just grown and grown, and after the first year or two, took on a life of its own," said Stanley Solomons.
This year, a record hundred thousand people could fill St. Pete's Central Avenue.
"It promotes visibility. I think the thing is with LGBT people is, it's harder to discriminated against someone you actually know," said Alec Mapa.
This year, there comes something different: the parade will feature a salute to gays and lesbians serving in the Armed Forces.
"With the 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' going away, we thought it was finally time to honor our military," Solomans said.
Scott Turner will be there for the seventh year.
"It's the feeling of a warm heart and knowing that everybody is celebrating who they are. A lot of people throughout the year can't celebrate if they are actually gay or LGBT, so they come out that one day and let loose and have fun," he said.
St. Pete Pride is a big boost to the area economy. Several hotels are sold out and dozens of businesses along the parade route will be working full staff tomorrow to be ready for the crowds.
The floats roll at 9 a.m.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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