Dallas' Gay Pride Parade Kicks Off Sunday

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Tens of thousands were expected at the 28th Alan Ross Texas Freedom parade took place in Dallas over the weekend.

    More than 35,000 were expected to attend Dallas' annual Gay Pride Parade Sunday.

    More than 60 floats participated in the 28th Alan Ross Texas Freedom parade, which ran down Cedar Springs Road from Wycliff Avenue south toward Lee Park.

    This year's parade theme was "It Gets Better" and organizers said it was the biggest pride parade and festival they've ever had.

    This year's Honorary Grand Marshal was Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns. Burns' testimonial during a city council meeting last October about bullying and coming out became a viral video hit. 

    "All of you sharing your stories is what we're celebrating here," Burns said to the festival audience at Lee Park. "Thank you for sharing your stories of being who you are, of being out and of being inclusive."

    British rugby star Ben Cohen was another VIP guest. The husband and father of two embraced his popularity in the gay community and pushed a global anti-bullying campaign.

    "Attitudes towards gays and lesbians, bisexual, transgender, over time will change and improve, and I think in just the last year that has happened," said Burns.

    Long-time parade goers said they saw far fewer protesters than in years past.

    "It's just a great feeling that everybody can just come out and be who they are," said parade goer Robert Romero.

    The parade is named for Alan Ross, a longtime gay-rights leader who headed the Dallas Tavern Guild. He died of AIDS in 1995, at 57.

    NBC 5's Susy Solis contributed to this report.