PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Less than a week after a gunman target a gay nightclub in Orlando, Providence is preparing to celebrate its 40th PrideFest. With the deadliest mass shooting in American history fresh on everyone’s mind, police and Pride organizers say they’re stepping up security for this weekend’s festivities.
“It’s been a week of planning behind the scenes and we wanted to lay that out to our partners in the community as to what we have done and what we’re looking to do on Saturday,” Providence Police Chief Col. Hugh Clements told Eyewitness News. “We expect everyone to have a safe and enjoyable weekend and we’re fully prepared for this event.”
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Authorities say they plan to have a large police presence in the Capital City with both uniformed and plain clothed officers on patrol.
Rhode Island Pride also hopes this weekend’s celebration can also serve as a time of reflection for the local LGBT community following the attack in Orlando.
“Rhode Island Pride is always a rallying cry for everyone to come together, celebrate who we are but also looking forward to what we need to accomplish,” event organizer Alex Gorriaran said.