RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- People attending Out Raleigh Pride's celebration Saturday filled Fayetteville Street in Downtown Raleigh.
Members of the area's LGBTQ+ community and their allies came together in numbers organizers believe topped last year's historic high.
Many in the crowd know that a series of bills affecting LGBTQ+ people is moving forward through the state legislature.
But on this day, they told ABC11 they found acceptance, support, and affirmation in the capital city.
"People need to know that they can be themselves. If they're not themselves, then they won't be happy," Twyla Carter said. "It's nice to see everybody happy."
"I've grown up in a very loving home, very loving community. But just being here around people like me, people like my girlfriend, I'm happy to be here," Mara Britton said.
This year's event included a marching band, an expanded Kids Zone, local vendors and artists, food, a beer garden, and for the first time a Wellness Pavilion, highlighting services toward the LGBTQ+ community.
ABC11 anchors were also at the event greeting viewers, posing for selfies, and thanking them for coming for the day's festivities.