Thousands gather in Tower District to celebrate the return of Fresno's Pride Parade

Organizers say this is the largest turnout they've seen.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, Fresno's Pride parade and festival returned to the Tower on Saturday.

Floats, balloons, bubbles and no shortage of rainbow flags flooded Olive Avenue.

Thousands showed up to sit on the sidelines and watch the 32nd annual Rainbow Pride Parade, then the party moved over to Fresno City College for the festival.

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Every color of the rainbow was represented.

People of all backgrounds and ages marched.

"We're back, bigger than ever, and it's amazing to see," said committee member Bianca Lopez.

The last parade was in 2019, before the COVID pandemic put the event on a pause.

Jenny and Dice Parker are sisters and Fresno Unified students.

They marched in front of the district's float.

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"It was so fun, I felt so accepted. Just the energy was really nice, having everybody there," said Jenny.

Added Dice: "It's great to have a great and accepting district to be a part of."

This was their first time attending Fresno's Pride Parade, and they say it was an emotional experience, especially seeing so many other young faces in the crowd.

For the first time, ABC30 was proud to be a sponsor of the event. Several of our colleagues walked in the parade.

"We pride ourselves at ABC30 about covering our community, every community in this great place that we call home. That includes the LGBTQI+ community and we're proud to be here standing with them today," ABC30 news director Martin Ortiz said.

And throughout the parade and festival, there were tributes to longtime Fresno LGBTQ+ activist Jeff Robinson, who passed away earlier this year.

"He saved it many years ago, if it was not for him, we would not have today," said Lopez.

And for those who knew Robinson, his presence was felt Saturday.

Organizers say this is the largest turnout they've seen. They also had more sponsors than ever before to help put on the event.

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