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Twin Cities Pride Festivities Underway

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(credit: CBS) Holly Wagner
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The annual Twin Cities Pride Celebration is about to get underway.

Minneapolis hosts one of the largest Pride weekends in the nation, bringing in nearly a half million people from around the country.

This is expected to be one of the biggest celebrations ever in the Twin Cities.

Pride Executive Director Dot Belstler says Minnesota’s new marriage law and the recent rulings from the Supreme Court are fueling the excitement and a sense of accomplishment.

“Last year people came out to really rally and everything was ‘Vote No,’” Belstler said. “This year I think everybody’s work is paying off. It’s a weekend for celebration.”

And it’s a celebration of both change and achievement. For Brad Weber, who has children with his partner of ten years, it’s a long time coming.

“All that energy here is just building,” Weber said. “We live in a state that allowed us to legally adopt children together who had no say in the matter but yet the two adults weren’t able to legally bind to each other, and now we do, we have that protection for our family.”

While Brad is counting down the days to his midnight, candlelight wedding on Aug. 1, 2013, organizers – like wedding planner Julie Lyford of Fabulous Functions – are having fun with the weddings to come.

“We’re gonna have a floral extravaganza called ‘It’s A Blooming Miracle’ – kind of playing a riff on the fact that everything has become legal,” Lyford said.

This year, organizers brought in dozens of wedding vendors, photographers and planners.

With one month to go until same-sex marriage is legal in Minnesota, organizers ditched their annual civil commitment ceremonies at the Pride Festival and say next year they’ll start a new tradition.

“Maybe next year we’ll have weddings on site,” Belstler said.

Click here to see the schedule of events for Pride weekend.

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