Thousands gather in Las Vegas for Pride Weekend - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Thousands gather in Las Vegas for Pride Weekend

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LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -

Pride Weekend in Las Vegas officially kicks off on Friday. It's an annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community (LGBTQ), and several events are already underway.

On Thursday night at the Rain nightclub inside Palms Casino Resort, the Pride Youth Talent Show was a showstopper. Dozens of singers, songwriters and performance artists showed their stuff before a live audience.

"Many times, the youth don't have anything designated for them, so we figured we'd give them things to do to help their careers and broaden their talents," talent show organizer Felicia Jackson said.

Jamele Avei recently moved to Las Vegas from Salt Lake City. He said his performance Thursday as well as events slated for the entire weekend give him a chance to be himself.

"This is an opportunity to network and get to know people who might be able to help in the future," he said.

"I just love music, and I want to touch all races and all ages and all orientations of people," performer Riyah Burton said.

Burton, who identifies as heterosexual, supports Pride Weekend and plans on attending Friday's Pride Parade in downtown Las Vegas.

"The acceptance level has risen so high that we're no longer seeing this as an isolated thing but a community event for all people to celebrate the LGBTQ people," organizer Cam Catton said.

More than 10,000 people are expected to celebrate Pride Weekend.

Friday night's parade will begin at 7 p.m., traveling north from 4th Street at Charleston Boulevard to Ogden Avenue.

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