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Providence prepares for PrideFest, with security a top priority amid recent attacks

PrideFest is coming to Providence Saturday, June 17, 2017, with more than 75,000 people expected to visit the capital city for the celebration. (WJAR)

PrideFest is coming to Providence Saturday, with more than 75,000 people expected to visit the capital city for the celebration.

In light of recent events, organizers are stepping up security.

The theme for Pride Fest this year is, “When We R.I.S.E.” The acronym signified, “Rhode Islanders Standing for Equality.”

It’s a call for allies, in Providence and around the world, especially after recent security threats at other large-scale events.

While a car drove straight at crowds and mowed down pedestrians on London Bridge June 3, an explosion claimed 22 lives and injured several more at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester May 22.

As Pride Flags begin lining the streets of Providence, ushering in the 41st Annual Rhode Island Pride Celebration, organizers are beginning those final touches.

"We are fighting those inequalities in our community,” Alex Gorriaran, an event producer, said. “We're fighting against the discrimination that exists. We still have a lot of work to do as a community."

Security remains a top priority.

"So, in any large event, we always ask everyone to be vigilant of your surroundings,” said Gorriaran. “Not only do we have our security teams in place, but we do need everyone else to keep their eyes open."

It's the same safety message, "See something, say something."

"We are prepared for these large crowds,” said Gorriaran.

Extensive street closures are planned to keep crowds safe from any potential harm.

"People can know it can be a safe and welcoming environment to people of all ages,” said Gorriaran.

It'll include a mix of live entertainment, a marketplace with more than 200 vendors, a kid's zone, and food trucks with a beer and wine garden.

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