TAMPA, Fla. — It's been two years in the making, but Tampa's Pride Parade is finally back.
"I expect to see everyone showing out! I mean it's Pride after all," Connor Adams said.
The 21-year-old is one of thousands expected to come out and celebrate love on Saturday.
"It's been super long since I was able to participate in one. I'm just excited to be back," Adams said.
Pride signs are up and flags are waving in Ybor City as the community gets ready to host the event.
"We are the first Pride in the United States in 2021 to happen! That's just exciting," Tampa Pride President Carrie West said.
West is doing the bulk of the planning. He says they've come a long way after realizing COVID-19 would cancel their plans last year.
"We were told the week of and we were already set to go. So everything was on hold," West said.
Many are now relieved the love and comradery are back. The parade and events will span down Ybor City's 7th Avenue, starting at Centro Ybor. They've made the area larger to allow for social distancing.
Usual attendance is 70,000, but organizers expect less than half of that will show up on Saturday.
"We're keeping social distancing. We do have masks out there, so please wear your mask. It's recommended, but it's not required," West said.
Along with the music, dancing, and marching, Tampa Mayor Jane Castor hopes the event is a sign the city is moving past the pandemic and into our new normal.
"We've come out of this safely and now we can all get back together and celebrate," Castor said.
Tampa Pride though just the first of many Pride celebrations we'll be seeing in Tampa Bay. St. Pete Pride is happening all throughout the month of June. They'll have 4 themed weeks to celebrate the LGBTQ community. Thousands are expected to come down for that next month.
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