In wake of the Orlando massacre, San Diego Pride organizers have announced the annual festival will include metal detectors at the entrances for the first time ever.
Forty nine people were killed when a gunman opened fire inside an LGBTQ nightclub in Orlando. The gunman was shot and killed by authorities.
The deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history has prompted many in San Diego to express concerns about security at the festival, said Stephen Whitburn, the festival's executive director.
“Our community is no stranger to adversity, and we will not be silenced,” said Stephen Whitburn, San Diego Pride’s executive director, in a statement. “Our movement is far from over, and we have no doubt that our community will come out to Pride as never before to mourn our losses, acknowledge our accomplishments, recommit to the work ahead, and celebrate our diverse community with love and Pride.”
This year, every entrance will have metal detectors, Whitburn said, and the festival will have more entry lanes to avoid long lines.
The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) will also have a mobile command unit stationed out front. Undisclosed additional precautions will be taken in addition, Whitburn said.
Whitburn said in the face of such violence, they are preparing for the biggest, most meaningful Pride the city of San Diego has ever seen.
"We want everyone to feel safe while they’re having fun at this year’s festival,” said Whitburn. “We encourage people to come out and celebrate Pride with confidence.”
The festival will be held Saturday, July 16 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Balboa Park's Marston Point.