Capital Pride events continued well into Saturday night as folks in D.C. came together to celebrate equality and LGBTQ+ rights.
The day started at Dupont Circle with a march and then the celebration headed to Freedom Plaza, where there was a rally attended by Mayor Muriel Bowser.
"LGBTQ residents, allies, all D.C. residents are called to stand shoulder to shoulder and arm to arm when any of us is attacked," Bowser said.
This year’s events were scaled back because of the pandemic. But for many, it was a great day to come together to celebrate equality more than a year after the pandemic started.
"This is my first time here. I'm here supporting my best friend, and this is amazing," one woman said.
Dupont Circle became the gathering place and people from all across the region were happy that COVID-19 restrictions lifted in time to have the event celebrating the LGBTQ community.
In Photos: LGBTQ+ Pride March, Car Parade Gathers Crowds in DC
"The energy is not the same, but we're gonna push through and pump through because it is a celebration of us being empowered and being ourselves," a participant said.
The popular parade was replaced this year by a car parade instead.
The pridemobile parade wound through neighborhoods from Anacostia to Adams Morgan, to Shaw and Dupont, sharing messages of love on decorating crowds and avoiding huge crowds.
The last year was hard on so many. The event was a time for participants to relax, be in a safe space with trusted friends and family and be themselves.
"This is my first year being out as trans," another participant said. "So for me, I really wanted to get out this year with me and my girlfriend and my friends."