Hundreds of thousands of people showed up to this year's Boston Pride Parade, and security was tight.
Organizers said Saturday's theme of "Looking Back, Loving Forward" was meant to reflect the strides the gay community has made in the 50 years since the New York City demonstrations and to "acknowledge the struggles that still lie ahead."
Martha Plaza, the Boston Pride Parade chair, said each registered group had two representatives trained on safety protocol. The representatives were in charge of sharing what they learned at training with the members of their group.
There was also a heavy police presence throughout the day.
The parade kicked off from Copley Square at noon.
The more than 2-mile parade route continued through the streets of Back Bay, the South End, Bay Village, Beacon Hill and, lastly, Government Center before finishing at the Boston Pride Festival on City Hall Plaza.
"American Idol" semifinalist and Broadway performer Todrick Hall is headlining. Singers Robin S. and Beth Sacks are also performing.
There were two new features in this year's parade: the Unity of Pride flag and the River of Pride flag, which is about 900 feet long.
"That's going to be a really big wow moment," Plaza said before the parade. "And we're going to have a community—all the spectators along the entire route will be asked to step in and carry the flag. We need about 600 to 900 people to carry the flag because it's rather big."
There were over 430 registered marching groups in this year's parade— the highest ever.
Saturday's events cap a week of celebrations that started with the raising of a rainbow flag at Boston City Hall May 31.