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North Idaho celebrates with largest Pride event ever

Organizers said this year's Pride in the Park event in Coeur d'Alene drew the biggest crowds they've ever seen at the event.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Hundreds of people gathered in City Park in downtown Coeur d’Alene on Saturday to celebrate Pride. Organizers said it is the largest Pride event that north Idaho has ever seen.

The theme for this year’s Pride event was ‘exist louder.’

Crowds were entertained by a talent show and a drag dance hour.

Along with the hundreds of people there to celebrate Pride, several groups came to protest. KREM 2 spotted dozens of people carrying guns. The protestors stayed on the perimeter of the park.

While the event was peaceful, organizers said the armed groups were there to intimidate people, and they weren’t going to let that happen.

"We have been through so much, so much,” Jessica Mahuron with North Idaho Pride Alliance said. “Harassment, and attempts to intimidate on the psychological level, and the truth is if you allow yourself to be intimidated you let them win and what we have shown today is that you will not win.”

There were also a lot of police officers and sheriff’s deputies in the park and along I-90. A lot of people said they were thankful for all the security measures in place.

Not far from the park, police arrested 31 people with ties to a hate group. They were found in the back of a U-haul. Police said the group planned to riot in downtown Coeur d’Alene.

WATCH MORE: Big crowds gather for Spokane Pride parade and festival

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