Las Vegas Sun

November 17, 2017

Currently: 73° — Complete forecast

Pride parade makes for lively show of unity in downtown Las Vegas

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Christopher DeVargas

A scene from the 19th annual Pride Night Parade in downtown Las Vegas, Friday, Oct. 20, 2017.

Pride Night Parade

SNAPI's 19th Annual PRIDE Night Parade in downtown Las Vegas, Friday Oct. 20, 2017. Launch slideshow »

The air filled with confetti, bubbles, rose petals and a giant Chipotle burrito air balloon. Adding to the parade scene were horse-drawn carriages, dancing acrobats, lavish floats and participants sporting feather boas, rainbow flags and signs of solidarity.

The Las Vegas LGBTQ community gathered in downtown Las Vegas to celebrate this year’s Pride Night Parade, which was presented by MGM Resorts International. The parade kicked off a weekend-long celebration.

Victoria Ruiz, an organizer with Planned Parenthood, said the community feels threatened in the current political climate and that it’s important to show the country that in Las Vegas “we have a sense a community and are there for each other.”

At one point in the parade, participants held up 58 candles to honor the 58 lives lost in the Oct. 1 mass shooting on the Las Vegas Strip, bringing many to tears.

“I think so much is going on politically that we need to feel that unity and feel togetherness,” said Carnie Asada, a Las Vegas drag performer who opened the event by singing “Stand By Me.” “That’s why I chose the song I performed.”

On Thursday, Las Vegas was recognized as one of 28 U.S. cities to receive a score of 100 on the Human Rights Campaign’s municipal equality index, described as “the only nationwide rating system for LGBTQ inclusion in policy, service and municipal law.”

Local leaders such as Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani and Assemblyman Edgar Flores participated in the parade.

Pride Festival 2017 continues Saturday and Sunday. Events at Sunset Park start at noon and last much of the day. Tickets can be purchased at the festival.

To find out more about Las Vegas Pride and the numerous events happening around town, visit here.