It was a nice parade and there was a very large crowd. Where are all these thousands of gay people during the rest of the year? I was also surprised by the large number of very young gay and lesbians kids. Or maybe I am just getting really old.
Anyway, while the parade was nice and featured some creative and diverse entries, the pace seemed slow and at times was just dragging unnecessarily. It didn’t helped matters that there were wide gaps between many participating marchers and floats. That was due to the live television broadcast of the parade at the beginning of the route, where a small stage was built for the commenting television hosts. They made the parade either slow down or come to a complete halt to interview some people or for commercial breaks.
It was also a bit strange that they would set up the cameras away from where most of the people were lined up to see the parade. When we were watching the parade again on television the next day, it looked as if there were hardly any spectators at all. Even though there was a huge and lively crowd just a few blocks north which would have definitely provided a much more exciting background.
All in all, it was a peaceful and fun event without any major incidence. There was however an ugly scene afterwards between some religious people, whom were holding up signs with anti-gay slogans, and many gay spectators. I won’t go into details as most of it was truly nasty and involved the usual yelling and insults. In the end it was basically a shouting competition between the two opposing groups.
The parade ended at Fremont Street Experience where thousands of partying gays and lesbians started to disperse and mingle with rather perplexed tourists, whom weren’t quiet sure what to make of all the commotion. On top of that, there was the hourly presentation of the light show under the huge video canopy and a post-parade outdoor party with live bands and lots of alcohol. We’ve never seen Fremont Street, or downtown in general, that busy.
Below are some of the photos I took, along with a few that were published in the Las Vegas Sun the next day. To read the short Las Vegas Sun article and see more of their photos, please click here. Additional photos can also be seen on QVegas, the monthly local LGBT magazine and one of the sponsors of Gay Pride. Click here and here.
Thousands of light bulbs, another sign of “old” Vegas, lights up the side walk along the “Plaza” on Main Street