JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It’s Pride weekend in Jacksonville a time for members of the LGBT community to come together in celebration of their culture with a parade and big block party in Riverside Saturday.

First Coast News’ Monica Garcia caught up with organizers of the event with why they say this year’s festival is more important than ever before.

The LGBT community is hoping their push for more protections is heard Saturday and Sunday during Jacksonville Pride weekend.

For Jason Span, getting the HRO approved would be a step in the right direction, not just for the Lgbt community but for everyone at a time when racial tensions are still high in the US.

“I have encountered instances for being homosexual and African American," Span said.

Organizers expect this pride festival to be the biggest they’ve ever thrown—with thousands expected to hit the street of riverside throughout the weekend.