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Pride Fest Provo celebrates LGBT community, promotes inclusion and equality

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Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-19 19:37:01-04

PROVO, Utah - The third annual Pride Fest Provo is wrapping up this weekend. It started on Thursday with events throughout the city celebrating LGBT rights.

Event organizers said it was a great way to bring the community together and celebrate LGBT rights in a city that's considered to be one of the most conservative in the state.

From games, to booths, to food and shopping—hundreds of residents turned out to celebrate and experience Saturday's festival in Provo's Memorial Park.

"It furthers our message of inclusion and equality," said Tosh Metzger, an organizer. "If every city or every county had their own little pride festival, imagine how much further the message would get across for inclusion and equality."

Participants said it's a great way to show support for the LGBT community and celebrate a person's right to love whom they love.

"You shouldn't be ashamed for loving the same gender," said Pride Fest Provo participant Brityne Brereton. "You love who you love."

They say it's also a good way to let people know they're not alone.

"It's about family and building a community for everyone to have a safe space to be themselves and be happy," said Guy Goria, a Queer Pride Show performer.

Pride Fest organizers say they think it's a good time for Provo to have their own pride festival.

"A lot of people think [or] feel that they're ostracized or not part of the mainstreams, so we we're trying to build a community, a queer community here in Utah County," said Organizer Jack Garcia.

Events wrapped up Saturday with a Queer Pride Show, featuring various performers dressed in drag. Organizers say they hope the event continues to attract members of the community—gay, straight, transgender or bisexual—to unite them in supporting LGBT rights and rights for the individual.