- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Latest on New Orleans gay pride parade (all times local):

8 p.m.

More than a hundred people led off a New Orleans gay pride parade holding aloft hand-scrawled posters for LGBT rights and pictures of the Orlando nightclub victims pasted on pieces of colored paper. The parade kicked off Saturday night in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood and was headed for the French Quarter. It’s the highlight of a weekend of festivities tempered by sadness over the Orlando shootings.

In the French Quarter, tourists are mingling with revelers in all kinds of rainbow garb. Participants say they are celebrating the progress of the gay rights movement while honoring the victims.

Almost a week has passed since the shooting at Pulse on June 12 that killed 49 club patrons and maimed 53 others before the shooter, Omar Mateen, died in a hail of police gunfire.



____

7 p.m.

Sadness over the massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando is tempering a weekend of gay pride festivities in New Orleans.

Outside one Bourbon Street nightclub hangs a poster with pictures of the victims.

Still the mood is largely upbeat in the French Quarter. Tourists are mingling with revelers in all kinds of rainbow garb. Participants say they are celebrating the progress of the gay rights movement while honoring and mourning the victims.

Tens of thousands were expected to line streets for a pride parade starting in the Marigny area and following a route into the French Quarter near the Mississippi River, along downtown’s Canal Street and then back through the Quarter down Bourbon Street.

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