Security for Palm Beach Pride ramped up, record number of crowds expected

Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:15 PM EDT
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The final details were set up in Bryant Park Friday as Palm Beach Pride kicks off on Saturday, Compass LGBTQ+ Center’s biggest event of the year.

"I just think it's a good time for the community, in general, to be together and be one community together regardless of what you stand for and what you look like," said Mar Rivera, who is a staff member at Compass.

Rivera says he started his journey as a youth with the Center, and now ten years later, he's paying it forward.

"I'm giving back to the community that embraced me," said Rivera.

Staff with Compass says safety is top of mind as they predict 30,000+ people will show up to celebrate over the weekend.

Michael Riordan says they have a record number of pre-sale tickets sold and a record number of sponsors for the event.

Riordan says it's in response to the community wanting to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

"We enjoy the rights that others fought for, and now it's our turn to fight for the rights of those who will come after us," said Riordan. "I know it's scary and can be intense, but we're going to make it through this as we did before.

This comes when the LGBTQ+ community says their rights are under attack, and organizers say security is top of mind.

A fence surrounding Bryant Park will only have one entry point and two exits where the vendors and performers will be located.

At the gate, security will detect metal with wands and check bags.

Only small backpacks, fanny packs, and purses will be allowed inside.

"I'm anxious because I've never been around that many people my whole life," said Midley Sylin, who says Palm Beach Pride will be her first Pride event ever and has safety concerns.

"I want to see more police officers, so everybody knows they're safe," said Sylin.

Staff with Compass tells me they have ramped up security for Palm Beach Pride which will be monitoring the festival and parade route throughout the weekend.

"I just want everybody to be safe, and hopefully, nobody gets violent so everybody can enjoy it," said Sylin.

Pride festivities are Saturday and Sunday 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Bryant Park in Downtown Lake Worth Beach.

The Pride Parade is on Sunday along Lake Ave, which starts at 11 am.

Tickets are sold online and at the gate.

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