Toledo Pride to draw 20,000-30,000 downtown

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TOLEDO (WTVG) -- When Toledo Pride is on display, you can't miss it.

Toledo Police will also be easy to spot.

Extra patrols will be highly visible downtown this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for Toledo Pride.

"Whenever there's a large event in the city, we certainly preplan for that," explains Toledo Police Lt. Kellie Lenhardt.

Toledo Pride has gotten bigger every year since it started 10 years ago.

"We started it with, you know, duct tape and $500 and it's turned into this city-wide event," says organizer Lexi Hayman-Staples, who helped launch Toledo Pride a decade ago.

This year, Toledo Police expect 20,000-30,000 people to attend. That amounts to roughly one third of the crowd during Jeep Fest last weekend, which pulled an estimated 70,000-80,000 people downtown.

While fun may be front and center, safety is close to the heart.

"We don't want people to be afraid of an attack or anything," says Lt. Lenhardt. "We want them to come out and enjoy downtown Toledo. It's a beautiful place. It's a great event, and we'll be there to provide security for it."

"We work really closely with Toledo Police Department," adds Hayman-Staples. "They've been great to us over the years. We think that it's a great way to make our event safe and I don't think that we could keep it as safe without that relationship that we have."

For a full schedule of events, click Toledo Pride