Supporters, protesters clash at Toronto mayor's Ford Fest

(Shawn Jeffords/QMI Agency)

(Shawn Jeffords/QMI Agency)

Shawn Jeffords and Don Peat, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:34 PM ET

TORONTO -- A fired up Mayor Rob Ford thanked thousands who showed up at Ford Fest Friday but avoided any campaign lines that might land him in hot water.

Ford chose his words carefully in a short speech to the throng of supporters who showed up at an east-end park for what is now an annual event.

Telling them anything he said would get him in trouble, Ford instead stuck to a short thank you.

"Friends, thank you so much," he said, vowing to hold another Ford Fest next year. "I can't wait to be here next year. Promises made, promises kept."

The crowd cheered wildly for the embattled mayor. Long lines for autographs and pictures with the mayor and Councillor Doug Ford stretched across the park.

Mayor Ford was mobbed by supporters and media as he arrived at the event, as people chanted "We love Ford."

But the love-in also grew heated several times as Ford Nation shouted down people in the crowd who spoke out against the controversial mayor.

A crowd of supporters surrounded LGBTQ activists as they talked to reporters, ripping up a sign they had brought to the event and shouting homophobic slurs.

"I would like people to see the way we're treated by Rob Ford supporters and Rob Ford," Poe Liberado said.
 


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