PORTLAND – Thousands took to the streets downtown for the 19th annual Portland Pride Parade Sunday morning.
This year, Pride Northwest opened the parade with the Portland Dykes & Allies on Bikes, a group of lesbian/bi/trans/women supportive bikers and their friends.
More: Parade route map
Marchers from around the Portland metro area and beyond, along with more than 50 organizations, lined up early Sunday, ready to showturn out their support and pride.
Over 50 orgs are already registered for 2013 PDX Pride Parade! Get registered soon - or watch from the sidewalk! :) http://t.co/5CZjxNNvHd— PrideNW - PDX Pride (@PDXPrideNW) February 23, 2013
Portland Public Schools, the Portland Police Bureau and Portland firefighters all showed their support in the parade.
"We support the gay community. This is definitely a big portion of our own workforce and we really wanted to be part of it," said Lt. Rich Chatman with the Portland Fire Bureau.
Several local parishes marched in the parade, including St. Andrew Catholic Church, despite a recent stand by Oregon’s new Catholic Archbishop.
Alexander Sample asked local parishes to leave their banners at home if they plan to take part in the parade because, he said, some use the parade as an opportunity to mock the Catholic Church.
The Timbers Army also marched in the parade for the first time Sunday.
Kevin Bets and his partner Gerit Mulder just mover to Portland from Denver and joined in the parade.
"It's good to be in a country where you can be open. You can express yourself and have people from every different profession that are here," Mulder said.
For more information about Pride Northwest, and the Portland Pride Festival & Parade visit its website here.