‘Look at all the happy here today’: Vancouver’s Pride parade lights up the West End
One of Vancouver’s happiest events is back.
Equality, diversity and inclusion were centre stage at the city’s 39th annual Pride parade on Sunday.
Hundreds of thousands of people packed into the West End to watch the festivities. Some came from all over B.C. and others from as far as Washington state “because it’s just such a happy vibe.”
The parade marks the end of Vancouver Pride Week, which was filled with street parties, free movies and other community events.
“Pride is a great opportunity to celebrate a strong and vibrant Vancouver,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said while kicking off Pride week on Monday.
Parade participants pull no stops when it comes to the outfits.
The parade began in the West End at noon, heading west on Robson Street all the way down to the beach. Taza, pictured above, was ready to go at 9 a.m. with flags representing her Iranian heritage and the transgender community.
Dozens of floats representing all the different communities in Vancouver. This person said they wanted to represent their Mexican heritage with an Aztec-inspired outfit.
Organizers estimated more than 360,000 people would be at the event.
High-fives and free hugs were in abundance, of course. The costume on the right is made entirely of recycled materials — including pop cans, coffee bags and tin foil — and took three months to make.
“Look at all the happy here today,” one spectator said.
Many people, including this engineering student from the University of British Columbia, brought water guns or spritzer bottles. (It was 25 C and sunny when festivities got started.)
Premier John Horgan walked through the parade, flanked by NDP MLAs Spencer Chandra Herbert and Melanie Mark. Morgane Oger, a candidate from the 2017 provincial election, also joined the event. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not attend Vancouver’s event this year, although he did participate in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
It took about a dozen people to carry this giant pride flag along the route.
Some people opted for comfortable walking shoes. Others, not as much.
After three hours, the parade wraps up and most people spread out across the city to continue celebrating. Some are just tuckered out.
Watch our live coverage of the parade below.
Photos by Rhianna Schmunk