WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - Wichita Pride kicked off Friday night starting with a drag pageant. It will be followed by lots of events on Saturday. While organizers say everyone is excited about it all, Wichita Police are keeping an eye out after online threats.

We spoke to some of the performers at the drag pageant, and they say this weekend is all about self-expression and celebrating the LGBTQ+ community with Wichita pride.

"It's just being able to live my life the way that I want to live my life and love who I want to love,” said Evan Shaheen, a drag performer.

Shaheen grew up as a gay man. Friday night he took to the stage at Century II as Arabian Night. He wants to express being free and being able to be who he wants to be.

"We've gone through a lot in history, you know, fighting for rights, just to be accepted just like anyone else. So, like, you know, this is our month. This is our day,” said Brandonna LaReese, a transgender drag entertainer.

After the drag pageant on Friday night, the festivities on Saturday continue with an equality rally, parade, festival, and Pride in the Park After Dark, all the celebration for everyone to feel accepted as their authentic selves.

"It's always someone's first time. And once I say first time, I mean it's their first time to feel the community, to feel they're in a safe space with folks that that they feel comfortable with,” said Jim Hall, Wichita Pride President.

Hall says this year is the biggest year yet with so many events going on. But organizers say they have seen protests at other pride events around the state.

"We have big rainbow umbrellas, and so if we have someone that is standing on a street corner or whatever they happen to be, that that happens, we'll pull out those umbrellas, turn the umbrellas toward them, and shield everybody from listening to them,” said Hall.

Some people have been making threats on social media. We reached out to Wichita Police regarding the comments. They said in part:

"WPD is aware of the comments made on social media. When we were made aware, we immediately began following up on those threats and notified our federal law enforcement partners. We are continuing that investigation."

Wichita Police also mentioned they have been involved in the planning of this event as well.