Annual Albuquerque PrideFest parade returns after pandemic hiatus

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Albuquerque’s annual PrideFest parade hit the streets Saturday for the first time since the pandemic began.

Huge crowds came out to celebrate PrideFest with the annual parade. This year was even more meaningful for some parade-goers. 

“So this actually is my first Pride, I’ve never been to Pride before, so I’m super excited,” said Ariana Carabeajal.  

Carabeajal says this is the first Pride she is celebrating openly.

“Just freedom, for the most part, being able to be who you are finally and just, especially in this day and age we’re going through a lot, and I’m very happy to be able to be out here with everybody and just be happy about who we are,” she said. 

After a pause from the pandemic, not even the sun could scorch the excitement of a full-fledged Pride parade. 

“I’m very very excited because it’s been a while since I’ve been to Pride and everybody, especially during quarantine, I feel like so many people came out, and I was anticipating that there was going to be a very large crowd today and there is and I’m so excited and I’m very very happy,” said Giddings.  

While newer Pride attendees celebrate, those who have been attending for years also still remembered how it all began. 

“Pride is still a protest of course but I’m glad that we’re all celebrating together and happy Pride, yeah happy Pride,” Giddings said.