Saint Pete Shows its Pride listen07/01/13 Samuel Johnson
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The Saint Petersburg Pride parade and festival was in full swing on Saturday, despite the rainy weather. The celebrants were still savoring the euphoria unleashed last week from the Supreme Courtâ€™s favorable decisions on same-sex marriage.
The parade meandered through the neighborhoods of Historic Kenwood and Grand Central. Some stood, waived or danced on one of the many bedecked floats. Others traveled in the back of a ragtop. While others, like Tampa mayor and Grand Marshal Bob Buckhorn, walked portions of the parade route.
The LGBT community was out in droves, crowding the streets to catch a glimpse of the parade. Flanking Central Avenue there were nearly a hundred commercial or information stands. There were transgender advocacy groups, hip hop radio stations, the Sierra Club as well as beverage and food vendors.
A large spectrum of the greater St. Pete and Tampa Bay LGBT community braved the inclement weather to out their pride. St. Pete City Council member, Steve Kornell also participated in the parade. He said competition between St. Pete and Tampa is like a healthy sibling rivalry.
â€What I love is on the domestic partnership registryâ€¦Tampa was fighting to get theirs done and I was fighting to get ours (Saint Petersburg) done. And because our attorneys were a little backed up they (Tampa) got theirs done a little bit ahead of time. When I was at the film festival Bob Buckhorn, mayor Buckhorn, was there and chief (Tampa Police Jane) Castor. I got up and I said; I just have to laugh, because it shows just how far weâ€™ve come. That Tampa and St. Pete are competing to see who can be the most gay friendly. And that was kind of a good competition. Thatâ€™s the kind of competition we want to have. Itâ€™s healthy.â€
The Pride events werenâ€™t dampened by the rain. There were some disturbances like gay slurs and a BB gun shooting. The shooting was the first act of violence in the 11 year history of the event. The male victim was taken to hospital and officials said the injuries were minor and the shooter was taken into custody.