Gay pride on parade

Jen Jones, of the College of Charleston Grad School Open Alliance, marches Saturday along Avenue B North during the first Charleston Pride Parade. The parade, which featured more than 40 groups, began at Park Circle and ended at Waterfront Park in North C

Rainbow flags flew from hands, cars and buildings. Cheers could be heard up and down Montague Avenue. And men, women and children watched as more than 40 groups consisting of hundreds of people marched through the Park Circle area of North Charleston on Saturday in the first ever Charleston Pride Parade.

"This has been so amazing," Adam Johnson said of the event put together by the Charleston Pride Organization. Johnson, who recently formed the College of Charleston Grad School Open Alliance along with friend Niki DeWeese, said he and his crew of about 15 weren't about to miss this event.

"It's just good to see the support of the community," DeWeese said.

Several thousand people turned out for the half-day parade and party aimed at connecting the gay and straight communities.

Participants ranged from people driving fire trucks to men dressed in drag and women on roller skates.

Nora Van Liewvan of the Lowcountry Highrollers, a roller derby team consisting of nearly 40 women, said her groups's reason for participating was to say thanks to two women who have been very supportive of their team.

"We thought this would be a great way to honor them, as well as the community," she said.

The parade wound through the revitalized portion of North Charleston before culminating at Waterfront Park, where revelers enjoyed live music and plenty of sunshine.

Kids and adults threw multi-colored frisbees as dogs played in the grass and along the sidewalks.

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