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Toledo Pride kicks off festivities Friday after 2 years of smaller events due to COVID-19

After a virtual event in 2020 and a limited ticket event in 2021, Toledo Pride is opening its doors to everyone again Friday night through Sunday.

TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo Pride returned on Friday to kick off the weekend's events at Promenade Park after the COVID-19 pandemic caused two years of smaller events.

Toledo Pride's Marketing Coordinator, Chad Turner, said he's excited to see the event "back in full force" in 2022. In 2020, the event was a prerecorded indoor celebration, and in 2021, the event was held with limited tickets.

Since 2009, Toledo Pride has grown from a one-day event to a three-day extravaganza. Turner said 20,000-30,000 people are expected this year.

"I know we got enough cups for (60,000), so we're ready for whatever comes our way," he said.

He also said there will be about 100 vendors with food, as well as music and entertainment.

Pride is also taking more inclusive measures this year, with additions like American Sign Language interpreters within performances.

Turner said the event is more than just a vibrant array of colors. It's about the good it does for the LGBTQ+ community.

"A lot of awareness, so people know there's people out there to support you," he said. "You're not alone and no matter what you identify with in the community, there's someone to support you there along the way and on your journey."

Attendees get a free pass to the event after a stamp upon entering Promenade Park. Imagination Station is offering free admission to those who show their stamp.

The Pride parade will take place from noon to 1 p.m. on Saturday, starting on Adams Street and going to Promenade Park, where events will happen until 10 p.m. 

On Sunday, there will be a brunch crawl from 2-5 p.m., with a $5 admission for free food items in the participating locations along Adams Street.

Free and confidential HIV testing will also be available throughout the weekend.

Donate to Toledo Pride by texting "Toledo Pride" to 44321.

RELATED: 2022 Toledo Pride Guide: a full weekend of fun

RELATED: 'We are here, dare I say we're queer': BGO Pride holds first Rainbow Rally in Bowling Green

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