NWA Pride Week To Remember Orlando Victims

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FAYETTEVILLE (KFSM) -- The NWA Center for Equality said the 10th annual Northwest Arkansas Pride event will go on without interruption in light of recent events in Orlando, Florida.

The LGBTQ community will celebrate equality with a parade down Dickson Street on Saturday (June 18), less than a week after the shooting unfolded at a gay night club. Fifty people were killed, including the gunman. More than 50 others were injured.

Organizers of the local pride parade said the victims will be remembered.

"We have a team that's going to have signs available," said Daniel Salmeron, secretary for NWA Center for Equality. "I'm definitely going to be leading a group that will make some signs to remember what happened in Orlando and to remember our fallen brothers and sisters there."

Salmeron has worked behind the scenes organizing the parade for the last six years. He said record attendance numbers were set in 2015, and he'd like 2016 to have an even larger turnout.

"I definitely see this having a larger venue now here at the parade," said Salmeron. "I'm sorry that such an event happened, but I will be glad to see the community out there."

The four day celebration will get underway on Thursday (June 16) with a Pride Happy Hour in Bentonville before wrapping up after a fellowship gathering in Fayetteville on Sunday (June 19).

Salmeron is certain people will turn out and stand up in the face of hate.

"Fear is never the correct response for a tragic event like this," said Salmeron. "Fear is exactly the opposite of what we should be doing. We should be bonding together both as an LGBT group and a larger group of everyone else involved."