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Southwest Florida's 10th Annual Pride Festival

Posted at 11:49 PM, Oct 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-06 23:49:09-04

FORT MYERS, Fla -- Music, dancing, and lots of bright colors. Southwest Florida kicks off its 10th annual pride festival.

But, it was Brendan Boyle's first go around.

"It’s just absolutely awesome to see everyone out here just loving life and no judgment just enjoying themselves," Boyle said.

Southwest Florida's Pride celebration started in a church parking lot 10 years ago with 200 attendees. This year they expected 8,000 people to show up. 

Boyle's  partner is no stranger to Pride, but Boyle said he was pleasantly surprised to see pride allies bringing their families out today.
"Teaching kids very young, that there’s no difference. And that’s what’s important to me," Boyle said.
As people celebrated pride and their love for the LGBTQ community, organizers shared that local churches are among their biggest supporters in Southwest Florida.
"Amen and Hallelujah!" said Rev. Allison Farnum of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fort Myers as someone praised her for attending today's fest.
She added that church leaders should be first in line at Pride.
"Oh my gosh! As a person of faith, we’re all about love! And so, if we’re not here to show the love, then who is?"
Pride SWFL President Mad Mel said she's grateful for everyone who contributed. 
"You can’t thank everyone enough. Our church community, but not only our church community, our sponsors,, and our vendors and our volunteers," said Mel.