Local Residents Celebrate First Ever Gay Pride Fest in Rockford

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Thousands are spending time in downtown Rockford to celebrate gay pride and while the event is aimed at preventing prejudice views, protesters had no problem crashing the gates near the celebration.

Today was the First Annual Rockford Pride Fest. The event is aimed at uniting the community. However, several protestors stood outside Davis Park. Claiming they don't agree with the celebration. Organizers say despite the criticism they are proud to host the festival locally.

Rick Garcia, attending event, Rockford Pride Fest 2012, says, "A lot of people think gay rights are going to come from New York or San Francisco and the reality, this is the margin of victory, and it’s in the heartland that we are going to win the battles that we need to win."

23 News is told the protesters are not from an organization, but rather met at the event independently.

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