Organizers in Oakland on Friday were preparing for a major weekend celebration as the East Bay city geared up for its fourth annual Pride event.
After some concerns that the Bay Bridge closure would be an issue, organizers said thanks to BART running 24 hours, it actually may be an added bonus.
"We're not hiding in the shadows. We're not afraid of getting shot," said Oakland Pride organizer Amber Todd. "We are here. We're proud to be here. We're not in fear of our streets."
The fact that Oakland often gets a bad rap is inspiring pride organizers to coming out in full force for this year's event.
The Pride flag already flies high on top of city hall. But now for the first time, it's also on top of the city's landmark Oakland Tribune building.
"Oakland really is an up and coming very diverse LGBTQ community," said Christine DeLarosa of Five-Ten Oakland Events.
Extended BART service during the Bay Bridge closure will give locals a chance to come out early and stay late while enjoying the Pride event and it's after parties.
"People are going to want to come out and want to party all night long," said Todd.
Pride organizers are projecting that 30,000 people will attend this years official event. However that could be a conservative estimate. Organizers are hoping this year will be the biggest yet.
"It came back in 2010 with a bang and it's just been growing every year," said Oakland Pride Coordinator Joe Hawkins. "So we're now the second largest Pride in Northern California. That's amazing."
The Oakland Pride Celebration happens this Sunday from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Franklin Street will be closed between 17th and 22nd streets while the Pride party goes on. For more information, please visit the Oakland Pride 2013 website.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.