MOUNTLAKE TERRACE, Wash -- When Pride Fest began back in 1974 around 50 or so people turned out for the first-ever rally at Seattle Center. Though the numbers were small, their message was historic.

Today Pride Fest is the largest free pride festival in the country. The month-long celebration culminates with a massive parade through downtown Seattle.

To show their support, parade participants like Premera Blue Cross are busy prepping for this year's staple event.

"The fun that we're going to have as 400 folks get out there in their blue representing Premera, representing pride and hanging out with a lot of our other partners be it Microsoft, Starbucks and other folks that we work with." Said Solynn McCurdy, Senior Manager of Community Relations for Premera.

While the rally and parade are fun, standing with Pride serves a bigger purpose.

"When we think about improving customers lives to make health care better, that includes anyone who needs support regardless of race, regardless of income, regardless of who they love or their sexual orientation. And so, we see the LGBT community as an important community to support."

Pride Fest may have started small, but backers like these ensure its support will only grow larger.

"It's not just about giving money, it's about activating our employees and their passions that they care about. So this is a way we can get them engaged, get them to share their support for the community and just allow them to show their support for Pride."

The 43rd annual Seattle Pride Parade takes place Sunday, June 25 at 11:00 AM along 4th Avenue in downtown Seattle.