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Pridefest parade draws more than 300K visitors

ST. LOUIS - The annual Pridefest  celebration in St. Louis continued this weekend with a colorful parade down Market Street Sunday afternoon.

“Just to say that we’re here. We’re not going anywhere and that we’re equally deserving of dignity and respect,” said Pride St. Louis Board Secretary Landon Brownfield.

The annual celebration is organized by Pride St. Louis.

“We are your neighbors, your co-workers, your family members,” said Pride St. Louis Board Vice President Marty Zuniga.  “It’s just a celebration of life.”

Organizers say the annual event has gone from a picnic in Tower Grove to a celebration expected to attract more than 300,000 visitors this year.  Organizers believe one reason for the success has been the willingness of St. Louis to be more accepting of the LGBT community than other communities.

“Not all places in Missouri are so welcoming,” said Brownfield.

Zuniga said other cities have studied the celebration in St. Louis so they can copy the success.

“It’s so exciting to see the turnout here and the smiles on the faces,” said Zuniga.  “It’s a place where you can be you, no matter who you want to be.”