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San Diego Pride Festival To Have Metal Detectors For First Time

The San Diego LGBT Pride parade float goes through Hillcrest in July 2013.
"Big Mike" Phillips
The San Diego LGBT Pride parade float goes through Hillcrest in July 2013.

Next month's San Diego Pride Festival in Balboa Park will have tighter security than in years past, event organizers said Thursday.

Metal detectors will be at the entrances to the two-day festival for the first time. Organizers said the extra security is intended to address safety concerns in the wake of the June 12 mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

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"We want everyone to feel safe while they’re having fun at this year’s festival,” Stephen Whitburn, San Diego Pride’s executive director, said in a statement. “We encourage people to come out and celebrate pride with confidence.”

Whitburn added:

“Our community is no stranger to adversity, and we will not be silenced. Our movement is far from over, and we have no doubt that our community will come out to Pride as never before to mourn our losses, acknowledge our accomplishments, recommit to the work ahead, and celebrate our diverse community with love and pride.”

The festival will be at Balboa Park's Marston Point on July 16 and 17. The annual Pride Parade, which draws thousands along the route from Hillcrest to Balboa Park, begins at 11 a.m. on July 16. This year's theme is "Pride Unites the World."

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