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Slideshow: Boise Pridefest 2018 Flew the Flags, Drew the Crowds

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More than anything, Boise Pridefest 2018 was a party.

"I know last year was very political. It was just about celebration this year. Lots of love," said Casey Paris, who stood with several friends near Cecil D. Andrus Capitol Park for the parade to begin.

Thousands had gathered at the Capitol steps to hear speeches from the likes of Atticus Charles, who traveled to Boise from Jerome to talk about the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people and convey a message of hope.

"I have been through everything you can feel," Charles said, "but I'm here to tell you it does get better. ...This entire community loves you."

They also heard from Boise Mayor Dave Bieter, who mentioned Boise's own nondiscrimination ordinance and how the city has embraced Pride itself, flying rainbow flags all over town, before telling the crowd that the entire state of Idaho should add "gender identity" and "sexual orientation" to its human rights law.

"Isn't the goal of Pride to make it obsolete to march for the rights of LGBT people?" he asked.

The State of Idaho has yet to "add the words," but many people who attended the celebration this year said they found the party atmosphere refreshing. Among them was Crystelll, who came from Pocatello to see her first Pride parade in Boise. Unlike many parades Crystelll has seen, there were many people on foot and fewer floats—a sign that people were using the parade to make personal statements about themselves and how they identify.

"This is the first Pride parade I've seen. I've seen a lot more people walking. There are fewer floats. It's an individual Pride parade," Crystelll said.

"Celebrate the people and what people are about," said Tori Wilson, who sat next to Crystelll. "Politics will always be there."

There were many there who were first-timers, or who had little prior experience with Pridefest. Among them was Morgan Urie, who came with her mother, Sherrie Spencer.

I'm a part of the community," Urie said. "I was away at college. This is my first year, so I decided to check it out here in Boise."

Spencer said she is a proud parent of an LGBTQIA+ person.

I support her in whatever her choices are," she said. "We ordered our [rainbow] gear on amazon Monday and had to rush the order to be on time."