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Despite The Rain, Big Turnout For ‘Outfest’ In Center City

(Credit: Pat Loeb)

(Credit: Pat Loeb)

By Pat Loeb

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A soggy start kept the crowd down but Philadelphia’s “Outfest” went on. The annual celebration of the LGBT community featured music, crafts, food and more.

Outfest is billed as the nation’s largest “National Coming Out Day” event, with more than 150 vendors, a mechanical bull, dancing and, this year, a pumpkin carving contest.

gilbert baker creator of the rainbow flag and outfest fan Despite The Rain, Big Turnout For Outfest In Center City

(Gilbert Baker, creator of the rainbow flag and Outfest fan; Credit: Pat Loeb)

Gilbert Baker, who created the iconic rainbow flag, comes down from New York for it every year.

“It’s one of the best community events going in the United States and as the flag’s creator, I’m always struck by the craftwork here. I get to walk around and see what people have done with it. It’s thrilling actually.”

Chuck Volz has been organizing the event for 17 years. He thinks it’s an important part of victories such as “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” and for gay families.

“The more they see of us, and our straight friends, the more accepting they are and then they look on gay marriage as…just marriage.”

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