Thousands celebrate Austin Pride downtown

Hundreds and thousands of people lined the streets of downtown Austin, a celebratory ending to Austin Pride Week. 

Triple digit temperatures did not stop the LGBTQ community or its allies from coming together and supporting one another. 

People were spreading the love with hugs at the Austin Pride festival. Linda Eggert held a sign reading “Free Mom Hugs.”

"I am a gay ally and I'm a human, and we all deserve love," Eggert said. “I’ve given at least 50 some people will just come running to me, two in particular started crying pretty hard telling me their mom doesn't accept them, and we just hugged and cried for a few minutes. If I can give a little love and a little hugs, then it's worth it."

Honoring the Stonewall riots and the evolution of Pride, Miss Austin Pride 2019 Brandy Williams said Pride can mean a great deal to different people. For Williams, Pride means equality and inclusiveness. 

"I'm from a very small town and there wasn't a lot of gay people or representation in my community," Williams said. "It's really important for everyone to come out and show that everyone supports, even the straight allies come out and it shows there is diversity in alliances."

Safety was a top priority, on the heels of violence in both El Paso and Dayton. APD Assistant Chief Justin Newsom said the department was not going to take any chances and would increase patrol downtown as always.

“Unfortunately this day and age events like that are not uncommon therefore as a police department we always have plans surrounding that type of incident and action plans in place and contingencies in the event something like that was to happen here," Newsom said.