Providence PrideFest to draw hundreds of thousands

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — A weekend of block parties, parades, and celebrations began Friday evening, as PrideFest returns to Providence once again.

Hundreds of thousands of visitors are expected for the parade.

“I think we’re looking at about 8-10,000 people at this event,” said Randy Dantuono, owner of the Dark Lady. “In years past, we’ve done excess of 7,000, so most businesses and outdoor events have grown over 20%.”

Boston will not be holding a parade this year, giving Providence and opportunity to act as the premiere city for their parade.

“With the absence of Boston and some of the situations in New York, the city is expecting 175,000-200,000 people. So, that’s a lot of people. I’ve seen people from England. I have seen people from all over Europe. It’s pretty spectacular,” Dantuono explained.

One bartender from the Stable explained that “it’s pretty crazy. I am excited. I think there is going to be a lot of energy, and I know already there are a lot of people from out of town.”

One visitor from New Jersey, Tom Andrews, said he has not missed PrideFest in Providence the last six years.

“Of all the prides, it’s my favorite one,” said Andrews. “The parade’s at night, it’s a very small city, everything is close by. So, I feel like I kind of know everyone already. It’s kind of like a small family I¬†reunite with every year.”

ABC 6 News is a proud sponsor of PrideFest. Our very own ABC 6 meteorologist Kelly Bates will be an emcee for the festivities Saturday afternoon.

Stay tuned with ABC 6 Saturday for complete coverage of the event both on-air and online.

Categories: News, Rhode Island