NEW ORLEANS -- For decades, Southern Decadence has been a Labor Day weekend destination for the LGBTQ Community.
This year though, a record number of attendees are expected.
With the recent violence against the gay community, security is a big concern.
Wynton Yates has more on how organizers plan to protect the festival goers.
Recognized by his well-fitting cowboy hat, for Chuck Robinson Southern Decadence is more than just 5 days of food, fun, and good music.
"In my time you could have been shot or beaten for doing this… It means so much to me personally," he says.
Celebrating its 45th year, Robinson wants to make sure that none of the nearly 200,000 people expected to come to Southern Decadence this weekend, have to worry about violence.
"We will protect you," he says.
Organizers of Decadence tell us that they are doing everything they can to make sure all of the area is protected.
Helping do that will be a beefed up presence of NOPD officers and State Troopers
"I'm not afraid, we beef up security and we're going forward… no one will put us in the closet," says Robinson.
Robinson also pointed out that security towers and lights will be vigilant over the crowds, which is good news for people like Dan Smith who say in the Wake of the Mass shooting at a gay club in Orlando this year, he definitely thought twice about booking his trip.
"I definitely thought about not coming because of what happened in Orlando and I thought you know you come here and there's a target on you but you can't live your life like that," Smith said.
And this community is sending a message loud and clear that they aren't going anywhere
"You see something suspicious, 10 of you scream, you got my attention and I got the mic," Robinson said.
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