The sounds of bucket drums beaten in unison, Spanish music and cheers mixed together during the Mid-Columbia Pride parade Sunday.
The parade, which started at the Pasco Library and ended at Memorial Park, was part of the fourth annual Mid-Columbia Pride festival.
Felipe Leon, a former Mr. Gay Oregon, and 11 other Portland residents wowed the crowd with their outrageous Brazilian-themed outfits that they sported in the parade.
Leon said they were going for big costumes, feathers and loud music, as befits their chosen theme. They also used the costumes for Portland's gay pride parade in June.
Leon said coming to the Tri-Cities was a chance to meet a new community. And he and his friends started attending such events to counteract negative stereotypes some associate with homosexuality.
A few Atomic City Rollergirls showed off some moves while the women of Spokane's Giant Ass Drum Corps pounded out a beat on their buckets.
Children tried to catch balloons tossed to them from the Vista Youth Center van, which had balloons filling all but the front seats.
Roxanne Von Cummings, Miss Mid-Columbia Pride 2010, led a pink shirt-clad Planned Parenthood delegation in the parade, where even a dog wore a pink shirt.
Von Cummings said she was crowned a month ago for raising the most money to support the Mid-Columbia Pride festival. Her duties included "just to look fabulous," she said.
The Pasco resident recently finished her year as Miss Gay Washington, where she said she picked up the fundraising skills that helped her to her new title. Roxanne Von Cummings is her stage name while in drag.
Jason Kildall, Mid-Columbia Pride chair, said the festival truly celebrates the hope for equality for all people, regardless of religion, race or sexual orientation.
About 20 groups participated in the Sunday parade, and Kildall estimated 2,500 to 3,000 people attended the festival's various events, which included socials, softball and kickball.
Sue Leathers, the parade coordinator, said it was the largest parade yet, and she expects it to keep growing. The route was shorter than normal, though.
Leathers said there were issues with getting a city permit for the parade that they weren't able to resolve before the festival's start.
The weekend-long event also included the 12th annual Miss Gay Mid-Columbia Basin Pageant at Out and About in Pasco.
Robbie Poteet of Kennewick was voted Mr. Gay Columbia Basin by the pageant attendees early Sunday morning.
Smashed Peaches of Kennewick was named Ms. Gay Columbia Basin and Piersta of Kennewick, which is the drag queen's stage name, received the Miss Mid-Columbia Basin title.
The pageant required a display of talent and evening wear, Poteet said. The three will host a fundraiser with the goal of raising at least $500 for a local charity as part of their duties, in addition to attending events throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Peaches said they also will spend the next year supporting diversity.
"There are still some places that don't think they have homosexuals living in their community," Peaches said. "And we are everywhere."