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DENVER — Thousands attended the annual PrideFest parade in Denver on Sunday.

The 1.5-mile parade started around 9:30 a.m. and went from Cheesman Park and down Colfax Avenue to Civic Center Park.

The parade was part of the annual two-day Pride festival at Civic Center Park that has become one of the largest Pride festivals in the country.

Thousands lined the route to watch more than 180 organizations march in the 42nd annual parade.

Hundreds of police officers provided security, with many departments choosing to take part in the parade.

Although the parade originally started as a gay pride parade, it has evolved into a family event where the community comes together.

“I honestly think it’s about people finding themselves and being proud of who they truly are,” Brianna Favela said.

“[It’s about] showing unity and support for all sorts of groups who are the minorities in America,” Lina Kyle added.

Chris Williamson called it “Just an event where you can just be yourself and free of just prejudice and people judging you.”

Denver PrideFest is the largest annual fundraiser put on by the GLBT Community Center of Colorado and draws more than 350,000 people to the area.

The festival also raises money for local programs geared for LGBTQ youth and seniors.