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2012 Pride festival

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Thousands spent Saturday celebrating GLBT pride in Austin with a 5-k run, festival and parade.

In the hot Texas heat, on the first official day of Fall, a sea of rainbows filled the sides of Lady Bird Lake at Fiesta Park. More than 7 thousand people attended the 2012 Austin PRIDE Festival.

Even pets joined in with dogs sporting rainbow fur and leis. Attendees from more than 18 different countries enjoyed the sounds of Cher, took in spirits, played games and rode carnival rides.

But amidst all the fun, organizers had a serious message.

"There are still a lot of struggles that we have to go through. A lot of fighting for equality, but we'll get there eventually," said Paul Huddleston, President of Austin Gay and Lesbian PRIDE Foundation.

Equality was on minds of many as several organizations like American Military Partners Association set up booths to spread their message.

"Now that Don't Ask Don't Tell is gone obviously service members can be open, however at the same time their spouses and partners don't have the benefits or support systems. They're basically denied those things through the Department of Defense. So we're working to educate the public and educate our public officials on how it's impacting our families," said Stephen Peters of American Military Partners Association.

Following the PRIDE Festival was the PRIDE Parade down Congress Avenue.

The parade had a variety of entries, floats, motorcycles, carnival acts and church groups.

Organizers are already planning next year's Austin PRIDE. They say it takes 13 months to plan for the big day.

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