Beverly Jordan, 70, vividly remembers how upset she was about the murder of University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard in 1998, one of the most notorious hate crimes against gays in American history.

"Any kind of injustice, I have to fight," the West Philadelphia resident said Sunday. Jordan helped hold a banner for PFLAG Philadelphia at Philadelphia's 27th PrideDay LGBT Parade & Festival. It was her second year attending the event, as an ally and friend of LGBT people.

An uncontainable energy swelled around the parade's starting location at 13th and Locust Streets in an area of the city known as "the Gayborhood."

Colorful floats were adorned with rainbow flags and flashy decorations in the 90-degree afternoon heat.

Glamorous drag queens and dancing performers - some in leather chaps, some in fluorescent tutus and nipple pasties, and others in flowing ball gowns - tossed candy and necklaces to attendees. The Philadelphia Flaggots marchers twirled shimmering flags, not to be outdone by performers on stilts in full rainbow attire.

Although Jordan and many others attended the parade and accompanying festival because of their activism or personal connections to pain felt by the greater LGBT community, Sunday's event was a celebration of love and equality.

Thousands of people joined the marching and festivities. A roaring, continuous cheer swelled along the parade route, through Old City and down Market Street - with a judges table for those scoring parade performances at the Sixth Street intersection - ending at Penn's Landing, where the festival began around 1 p.m.

Participating organizations included LGBT support groups such as Morris Home, the William Way LGBT Community Center and Attic Youth Center, as well as local and national businesses and local and state politicians.

"It's another important group in our community celebrating who they are, and it's awesome," said Democratic mayoral nominee Jim Kenney, whose campaign was a participating organization.

Mayor Nutter spoke onstage at the festival, asking an enthusiastic crowd, "Is it PrideDay in this city? Are we proud of who we are? We need to be."

Acting state Physician General Rachel Levine, who is transgender, spoke about Gov. Wolf's commitment to LGBT issues, telling festivalgoers "we will have nondiscrimination legislation during Gov. Wolf's tenure."

Wolf, who attended for the first time as governor, said Pennsylvania has been "open for everyone" since William Penn founded the state on "freedom of consciousness."

"I need to keep doing whatever I can to make sure Pennsylvania is open and welcoming for everyone," he said.

Kelsey Wood, 26, said she was happy to see visibility for transgender issues at PrideDay. The Temple student volunteered at Philadelphia's Trans Health Conference last week.

Kevin Witherite, 30, and his husband, Patrick Witherite, 28, attended the parade and festival for the first time since marrying on May 18 after nine years together. Kevin Witherite said the parade "has more meaning now that we're married."

Families were out in force for the parade, with many young children in tow. Noel and Rachel Ortiz brought their 20-month-old daughter, who sported a petite rainbow hat, to the family's first LGBT Pride Parade experience.

"It's a family-friendly event," said Philadelphia native Noel Ortiz, 31. "I want to expose [my daughter] to this."