Rainbows, Glitter and Love Descend on DC During Pride Parade - NBC4 Washington
National & International News
The day’s top national and international news

Rainbows, Glitter and Love Descend on DC During Pride Parade

    processing...

    NEWSLETTERS

    What to Know

    • The Capital Pride Parade kicked off at Dupont Circle at 4:30 p.m. and lasted for more than four hours.

    • Rain and possible thunderstorms were expected to affect the festivities, but the skies over the parade remained clear.

    Washington, D.C. was awash with rainbow colors as crowds of revelers celebrated the city's vibrant LGBTQ+ community during the Capital Pride Parade Saturday.

    More than 200 contingents featuring floats, marchers, entertainment and a bus carrying the NBC4 team partied through the streets of Dupont Circle for more than four hours.

    Thousands of attendees lined the route, dancing, singing and screaming for the floats and organizations going by.

    The parade was led by Grand Marshals Judy and Dennis Shepard, the parents of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student who was abducted and killed in Laramie, Wyoming, in 1998. Since his death, his parents have become advocates for LGBTQ+ rights.

    Matthew Shepard's Parents Speak on Being Pride Marshals

    Matthew Shepard's Parents Speak on Being DC Pride Parade Marshals

    The parents of Matthew Shepard, a gay man who was murdered in Wyoming in 1998, will be the grand marshals of the D.C. Pride Parade on Saturday. Judy Shepard said the country was "well on the road to acceptance" of LGBT people nationwide. But "in the last couple of years, it's been really hard. We've seen hate incidents pick up." The Shepards spoke with News4's Pat Lawson Muse.

    (Published Friday, June 8, 2018)

    "For the past two decades we have tried to create a legacy not only for our son, but for all those without a voice who experience hate and discrimination, especially those individuals more marginalized in our community yet more impacted by hate violence," the Shepards said.

    Organizers and attendees feared rain and thunderstorms might dampen the festivities, but pop-up storms affecting the region steered clear of D.C. during the parade.

    Metro operated on a regular schedule Saturday, with a few exceptions. The Vienna and Dunn Loring stations are closed for maintenance and the Red Line will be single tracking after 10 p.m. See here for street closures and parking restrictions.

    Celebrants also gathered for pride parades in Boston and Los Angeles.

    A group called "No Justice, No Pride" has criticized Pride Parade's sponsors and board, saying they neglect the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ+ community.

    "All signs indicate that Capital Pride 2018 will once again celebrate weapons manufacturers, corrupt banks, and police departments, aligning itself with those who profit off of the oppression of the most marginalized members of our communities," the group wrote on their website.

    The organization said it was behind a group of protesters who temporarily stopped the last year's parade and forced it to be rerouted

    Ashley Smith, the Capital Pride Alliance board president, said their organization has been warned that protesters may disrupt the parade this year, but as of 8:30 p.m., it appeared no protests disturbed the route.

    "We also feel very strongly that everyone has their right to free expression, but believe that it is through dialogue and an exchange of different viewpoints," Smith said in a statement. "Not disruption of our community gathering in pride as we do each June and in protest as we have been in the current hostile political environment," Smith had said.

    An official Capital Pride block party with DJs, food trucks and drinks will run until 10 p.m. on 15th Street between P and Church Streets.

    Watch NBC4 and get the latest news anytime, anywhere. Check here for TV listings.