• Gay pride celebrated in downtown Orlando


    ORLANDO, Fla. - The streets of downtown Orlando were packed Saturday for this year's 'Come Out With Pride' events.

    The annual celebration brings thousands of people to Orlando. The crowds were heavy and rainbow flags flew everywhere Saturday as people enjoyed the festivities.

    Jay Hawkins came down from North Carolina for the event.

    "We're having pride up there in a couple of weeks, but it's nothing like pride here," Hawkins said.

    The Orlando Police Department said 110,000 to 120,000 people were expected this year, up from 100,000 attendees last year, many from all over the world.

    The highlight of the weekend, the Pride Parade, started at 4 p.m. Saturday in Thornton Park.

    "We have people as far as south Africa, Brazil, the U.K and Germany, and other Europeans countries," Mikael Audebert of Come Out With Pride said.

    While they're here, all those people spend money in restaurants, bars and hotels. Event coordinators said hundreds of hotel rooms were booked for the event.

    Businesses have to bring in extra staff to handle all the customers, which makes the festivities a huge economic windfall for the city in the range of $1 million to $2 million.

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    Gay pride celebrated in downtown Orlando