Record crowd traveling from out of state to attend Charlotte Pride

- More than 120,000 people are expected to pack Uptown Charlotte throughout the weekend for the annual Pride Festival.

Organizers say people started lining up for Pride as early at 8:00 Saturday morning. They say a part of the increase in visitors has to do with the controversy surrounding HB2 over the last several months.

Thousands showed their support for the LGBTQ community at this year’s annual pride festival. Organizers say hundreds traveled from out of state, some as far away as Michigan.

CMPD also had a heavy presence at the event Saturday, declaring the festival an extraordinary event. The extra precautions comes after the deadly pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando.

Increased security was welcomed by many attending, who say this year pride has a special and more important meaning.

“I have seen a lot of stickers and different things for the Orlando shootings and everything so I feel like we are all together. I just feel like this year we are a little bit closer,” said Michael Condron, who traveled with his friends from Charleston.

“I have heard from a lot of people in the community who just want to be with their community members to stand in solidarity with each other and support each other,” said Charlotte Pride spokesperson Matt Comer.

Organizers say there were several petitions circling the crowd asking lawmakers to repeal HB2.

There was a small group of protestors who supported House Bill 2. Organizers say they have their right to free speech.

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