When I was young, I would love seeing parades, no matter what it revolved around. Now that I am 24, that is still valid. But if there is one parade that gets massive attention, it would be the annual Pride Parade. There's nothing quite like it, and anything absolutely goes. This was a snippet of 2015.
Rainbow everyday, all day
August 2, 2015
I think I have gone to the parade roughly about five times, with one of them being on a float (ah, the glory days). This year, my cousin Mina and my friend Alisha came with me, and I couldn't be any more excited! It is both their first time, so this would definitely be one excellent experience.
Originally, I was suppose to meet up with my friends June and Robert, but they were running late. Coincidentally, Alisha saw her friends from catechism, who were classmates of my cousin Steven. They joined us while waiting for the others to arrive. Within this time, Alisha and friends felt like they needed to dress up in more rainbow attire, and so we headed out to Claire's, where you could find everything rainbow.
At this point, we were waiting for about half an hour when my friend Albert found me, and tagged along with us to watch the parade. I needed to use a washroom first, so I went into Starbucks where I had to wait in line. Mina also waited for the washroom, which prompted for a photo opportunity:
Rainbows and sparkles galore
We couldn't wait anymore, and so we made our way to the parade route. I suggested to go towards the end of the route so we could see the festival right by the beach - this meant a lot of walking. Along the way, you could see all kinds of people in spectacular attire, and even some stores joining in the fun. There was American Apparel that went all out, and so Mina and I had to pose with the crew:
Equality is colourful
Although it was still pretty early, we were feeling a bit hungry along the way (about 3/4 along the way). We stopped at Cobs Bread - that was a smart move, Mina. After walking up and down the hills, we finally got to the parade route, which was exactly where I wanted to be.
For those who don't know about the parade watchers: there are a lot of people who will settle themselves in the early morning. One time, I saw a couch sitting on the sidewalk; there are avid fans of the parade, and it's a big deal. We didn't have much space to see, so when we found a little patch of grass on the sidewalk, we took it. What surprised me was who I saw next to me. It was my friend Coco, all nestled in his area with his boyfriend right next to him (they are such a cute couple!)
While waiting for the parade to start, we took some photos before getting distracted by the people on the streets of downtown Vancouver:
Silliness for the heck of it
From left: Myself, Albert, and Mina
Exactly 12PM, the dykes on bikes came rolling in, the ever so eclectic bunch of couples dressed in all sorts of attire from classic biker chicks to shirtless and liberated. And that is just the beginning. Soon afterwards, you see the most fantastic drag queens in outfits you never thought would be possible, such as this one:
Queen of the pink balloons
Absolutely marvellous, don't you think? This year marked the first appearance of the Transgendered flag, which is simply three colours, but loudly spoken:
Loud and clear, right by the pride flag
The thing about the Pride Parade is that you never know what will come next. At first, it's all good clean fun like this:
VanCity is definitely proud
...and then it is followed by something on another spectrum, such as this:
The question is: are they real?
But that's one thing to appreciate about Pride, everyone is welcomed. And it doesn't really matter what you wear, you're definitely going to get some looks.
I consider them to be colourful sea urchins
Nothing more attractive than a man (or, two men) in suit
Dancing Queens, feel that beat
Qmunity is the 'you'
And their logo is everything
While watching the parade, Anawin and Steven came along with their friend Roy, who was eating McDonalds (again, smart move for him). As we were watching the parade go by, there was the cutest portion coming our way, with a great message:
Pacific Assistant Dogs Society
Look at all of the, they're adorable!
There were other dogs that were on the route, and Roy pointed out that one of them was limping on one leg - I hope that dog is now okay, I don't know how long he was doing that.
Somehow more and more people came to the parade as it got later, including Ryan and Alex, who were both experiencing Pride for their first time. They stopped by before going to a Japan festival occurring at the same time, and that meant taking a photo:
Alex, Ryan, and myself
When I was watching the parade, Mina took a photo of my friends, who were posing at the right time. I mean, how perfect is this:
From left: Alex, Ryan, Anawin, Steven, Albert, and Roy
And then a whole lot more floats came by. Here are the selection of my favourites. Be warned, some of the following photos might be too much to handle:
Stockings and boobs and vikings, just because
Superheros on emoji land (New Westminster float)
Look at his heels! TD, represent!
All aboard the flight of happiness
One thing that my friend (I can't remember who) pointed out that when it comes to the TD float, they seem to have the same people every year. But the bigger question with floats from the bank is whether they are hired to be on the float, or if their workers volunteer to be part of it? That forever remains a mystery, but they know how to get the attractive people.
One float that always excites is Celebrities, a club on Davie Street that promotes their all-day celebration (more on that later). I didn't quite understand this year's theme, but it's still fun nonetheless:
Having a good time, floating away
Schools be getting on the action, too! This couple is adorable!
If there was one float that stole the show, it would have to be the Telus jungle-themed float. They went all the way, and it plays well with their marketing scheme and animals. I mean, could you look away from this:
They're endangered species, you know
Continuing with the animal inspiration was this crowd of people, who I am not sure what they do. I will admit it's outstanding, but I feel like the ones on all fours were quite tired after walking the whole route:
Vancouver Pups and Handlers
But if you're a child, it's all innocent fun. I don't know how long this girl was going, but she went all the way to the end. And the best part? Everyone was encouraging her to do her thing:
Go little young one!
Children are always a great addition to Pride
Let's continue with the parade, with a woman who painted her body with such intricate designs. I see a face, a heart, and some peacock feathers on her - what else do you see:
Look at that confidence
And then there were dancers who came crawling along the route, all bumping to Hilary Duff (I didn't want this to stop!) Not sure what they're called, but it's impressive to see people dancing a parade route, having to coordinate forward movement while making it look so smooth:
Get it on
Then came the Cactus Club Cafe, fitting in with this year's theme of superheroes. My friend Hope was telling me how everyone was dressed up at the restaurant, with one waitress only in an apron - that's scandalous. But anyways, let's adore these fighters of Pride:
Nothing better than a hero that's also nerdy
One thing that was new this year were the political parties, and they don't disappoint at all. I didn't see all of them, but managed to capture the NDP party:
But if anyone stole the show, it would have to be the man who could only pull off wearing the mankini, or whatever you call it:
Brent Ray Fraser
I would tell hime to wear a helmet, but everyone was enjoying it. But damn, he is in killer shape. You can search him up, but it gets more revealing from there, and that's all I say.
There was a big break during the parade, but decided that two hours was enough to watch. We then went into the market, which was already crowded as many more were headed to the same direction. Look at the crowd:
A sea of people, and we were about to enter
Roy decided to part ways, but the rest of us looked around to see what was happening. From photo opportunities to all sorts of accessories, it was a party on its own. It's not your typical market, as some products are only averrable at Pride. I managed to get some free sunglasses from one of the stands, and took a photo with the girls:
From left: Myself, Alisha, and Mina
Once we looked at the whole place, we went into downtown and settled down. Mina went to meet up with her friend, while Anawin, Steven, and Albert stayed in downtown. I drove Alisha home as she had plans for the night (it was her birthday!)
Then I met up with June and Robert with their friends, playing drinking games and whatnot before we headed out to the club... Let's say there were more drinks than one could handle. It was a short night, but still eventful, and I got to see them once again.
It was a long day, but definitely a smashing good time. I can't wait to see what 2016's Pride Parade will bring, and who knows, it might be even hotter next time around c";