BOISE, Idaho — Boise is celebrating 30 years of pride, and this year, the community rallied to throw the biggest pride-fest of all time.
Thousands of people got an early start on Pride Fest's activities on Friday. The festival kicked off with a flag raising at Boise City Hall.
At Cecil Andrus Park food, booths and live music were all in abundance, creating an atmosphere you rarely see in the Treasure Valley.
Projectors lit up the capitol with the pride rainbow--something organizers weren't sure was going to happen after Boise declared a ban earlier this year. Friday night's festivities wrapped up with a huge fireworks show and cheers from the crowd.
The massive festival is something organizers say you wouldn't have seen 30 years ago. Vice President of Pride Fest, Joseph Kibbe, says the first pride was much smaller than the one today.
"The first pride was small and personal. Now it's in a large, main stream community park," Kibbe said. "This would not have been possible thirty years ago."
This morning, a rally and a parade in downtown Boise flooded the streets with people of all kinds.
Grand Marshall of the parade, Boise Mayor Davie Bieter, says the City of Trees wants to make sure everyone feels welcome.
“Let’s welcome those that are coming here wherever they’re from. Let’s make sure everyone feels at home here. That’s what this city is all about, that’s what this day is about," Bieter said.
Kibbe says it's time to make sure all of those people have equal protection--that it's time to Add the Words sexual orientation and gender identity to the state's Human Rights Act.
"I'm hopeful this brings the conversation for add the words back to the top of mind of the legislature," Kibbe said. "If governor is watching, please look at the thousands of people that care about this particular issue."
Pride Fest is an event that comes with so many stories. The LGBTQIA+ community has fought to be accepted in our country. Marissa Hathaway, who attended the parade and rally this morning, says parental support is everything.
"A lot of parents one they don't understand for me my mom didn't understand but my dad he loves me through thick and thin every day and he's proud of it and parents who are out here supporting their kids it is amazing and the community is huge especially in Idaho," Hathaway said.
The after party goes until 2:00 a.m. Saturday, and festivities will continue Sunday with a recovery brunch at the Amsterdam Lounge.
Three events over the next few days truly symbolize #Boise's welcoming, inclusive nature. Join your fellow Boiseans to celebrate the Return of the Boise Valley People, 30th Annual @boisepride Festival and World Refugee Day. #iamboise https://t.co/37S4bVR20H pic.twitter.com/S72LdlGvMX— City of Boise (@CityOfBoise) June 13, 2019