This is a city of vast diversity; a city that is known for standing up for the rights of the individual, the environment and the world. We celebrate the fact that we are a city of every race, culture and person imaginable, so it should come as no surprise that the Vancouver Pride Event is one of the largest in all of North America drawing in an amazing 100’000 people from all across the globe. This community wide event, which also happens to be the largest event on our cities calendar, allows all genders to be themselves, and celebrate the cultures of the Gay and Lesbian, Trans-Gender community’s social movements. The pride Flag, now synonymous with PRIDE and is a universal sign of inclusion has been flown since the early 1970’s and is everywhere this weekend in the heart of the Davie Village area of Vancouver. The entire neighbourhood turns the dial up. Every store window, every lamp post, every person - wearing the flag colours, eccentric and outrageous outfits and high spirits that you can feel, as well as the simple exhale that comes when we all come together to celebrate, without judgement our differences – making us less and less different wouldn’t you say?
When you are walking through the West End and take a look up at all the apartment towers you will see the on-going competition for the most/best decorated buildings – flowers strewn, boa’s curling around the banister’s, and of course the Flag flying everywhere with an assortment of other sparkly items adorning the balconies making it look like Christmas in the heart of Summer.
Pride weekend also always falls conveniently right when the city also hosts the largest fireworks competition of its kind in western Canada, The Celebration of Light. The combination of these two great events, create a real celebratory feel on the streets for over two weeks.
The party really gets stared though on the Friday night – this year August 1st was the kick off day. Davie St closes around 6:00 PM from Burrard all the way to Jervis for the largest street party Vancouver throws, The Pride Ball. It is a licensed pay entry event, but just walking down the edges of the street you can see and be a part of the event in your own way. There are food vendors, beer tents, several dance floors and an array of live performances as well as a constant thump from the DJ’s to dance the night away – well until at least 12:00 AM!
Saturday is full of events from Boat Parties, special events, and city wide festivities for all tastes and desires. Sunday – this day is truly THE day for PRIDE to shine. The epic parade starts at 10:00 Am to thousands and thousands of on lookers – many who get down to Beach Ave at 6:00 AM to reserve the best seats – after what has been three hours sometimes even four or five hours the parade empties into English Bay. The Sunset Beach Festival and Market host’s food vendors, a great beach front beer tent and flanks a more fair like atmosphere. Vendors selling everything imaginable, fabulous fully decked out Drag Queens offer photo moments, tattoo shops and much more line the beach all the while a large bandstand pumps out local and international talent till the sun goes down.
This event is as much of a celebration that we are all unique as it is one of unity. I feel so blessed to live in a city that stands up for the rights of others, whom opens its arms out to all, and allow for each of us to make it home.
Spectacular, free, open, and ours.
Happy Pride – whatever your colours are – fly them high and don a Boa – you will feel so much better. Go VANCOUVER! GET PROUD!
For More Info: My Davie Village