MILWAUKEE -- PrideFest Milwaukee 2016 closed at midnight Monday, June 13th -- and the rest of the day was devoted to cleanup. This, as the event's executive director told FOX6 News attendance at this year's three-day event was the largest in history.
"We had an amazing year," Eric Heinritz said of the 30th annual PrideFest Milwaukee.
This, despite the horrific mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando early Sunday, June 12th, which prompted security concerns. Pridefest Milwaukee officials brought out metal detectors and there was an increased police presence at Maier Festival park.
Now that PrideFest Milwaukee 2016 is in the books, planning begins in earnest for 2017.
"Planning for 2017 starts immediately," Heinritz said.
Heinritz said PrideFest organizers will take what happened in Orlando Sunday into consideration when planning for next year's event. Security will be top of mind.
"We will definitely be working with Summerfest to determine if the metal detection becomes a permanent part of our festival in the future," Heinritz said.
What will definitely be a permanent part of PrideFest Milwaukee is the communication between different levels of security personnel.
"Hours before we opened, by 7:30, 8:00 in the morning, the whole city and state of Wisconsin, federal agencies, were all connected to us," Heinritz said.
Heinritz said the communication between all of these officials, along with PrideFest and Summerfest security officials was a result of the relationship PrideFest Milwaukee has with the venue, Maier Festival Park -- a relationship he says is unique among PrideFest celebrations nationwide.