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Thousands attend VA PrideFest in Richmond: ‘It’s just love’

RICHMOND, Va. -- Thousands of people attended VA PrideFest on Brown's Island Saturday afternoon.

Virginia Pride organizers said the event is the largest celebration of diversity for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities in the Commonwealth.

The free, family-friendly event featured live performances, local food vendors and all kinds of activities.

Many of the attendees said they were proud of how much more welcoming the city has become.

“It's different than everyday here in Richmond,” Jasmine Payne, who attended the festival, said. “I've lived here my own life and pride is special. There is a different energy. It's just love and excitement and just openness and happiness."

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe received an award at the event.

Officers with the Richmond Police Department were also on hand.

The festival raises money for college scholarships for LGBTQ students in Virginia.