Denver's PrideFest 2016 honors victims of Orlando terror attack

DENVER - A powerful symbol sits in the middle of Civic Center Park at Pride Fest 2016 -- It's a message board with incredible meaning.

Etched in chalk in big bold letters is #WeAreOrlando. That powerful phrase is surrounded by other messages of love and hope from those attending the festival.

"I said 'love everyone' because 'rise above' was already taken," said PrideFest participant Brian Turner.

Questions about security at the festival came up quickly after the tragedy in Orlando. Organizers told Denver7 that security has always been at the forefront of planning even before the nightclub shooting in Florida.

"I've seen some cops around here. I feel pretty safe." said Turner.

People attending the weekend event are going through security gates before entering the park. Metal detectors are used and attendees are being asked to keep coolers at home. Weapons are not allowed. Police officers are on every corner. There will also be heavy security along Sunday's PrideFest parade route through downtown.

The crowds are big, but instead of a feeling of fear, pride reigns supreme.

"Don't give them the power," said PrideFest participant Chelsea Parsons. "Don't allow bad guys to scare us. We need to come together as a community and love everyone."

Denver PrideFest 2016 finishes up on Sunday. A parade starts at 9:30 am. It will go north on Franklin Street and will turn west on East Colfax Avenue closing down intersections as it goes.

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