Orlando – It isn’t the first time Mother Nature has dampened the spirits of revelers hoping for a celebration of LGBTQ Pride. Back in 2011, Orlando’s Come Out With Pride board had to postpone its annual festival and parade due to rain. This time, though, things looked a little more serious. With what could have been a direct hit from a Category 5 Hurricane Matthew swirling across television screens and computer forecasts, the board – already reeling from necessary redirection due to the Pulse massacre on June 12 – had to make a decision. And it didn’t have time on its side. Concerns rose early.
“We were certainly concerned in the days leading up to the Oct. 8 event, and even as early as Tuesday at the meeting before the event, we were looking at the weather, and we were saying, ‘Oh, this hurricane!’” Come Out With Pride director of marketing and communications Jeff Prystajko says. “We had several meetings: board meetings, volunteer meetings. In the end, we had some very frank and open conversations as to what would happen.”
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