Fredericton parade: A show of community spirit and pride
Published Sunday, August 12, 2018 6:41PM ADT
FREDERICTON - Fredericton’s Pride parade drew one of its largest crowds Sunday as thousands of people gathered in solidarity just days after experiencing the deadliest shooting in the capital city's history.
Many wondered if the parade would go on, but organizing coordinator Kelsey Fawcett said it was an opportunity for community members to rally together.
“We’re showing pride and strength and that we’re a good community,” said Fawcett, “Fredericton is a resilient community that can get through anything.”
The planning committee altered their schedule in the wake of the shooting. Fredericton Pride President La Henry said the event normally starts with a flag raising at city hall, which they chose not to do this year.
Henry says they did not receive any indication that the community would be against going forward with the parade, estimating that attendance was three times larger than last year.
Fredericton Mayor Mike O’Brien said he spoke with Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch who gave her full support of the parade as well.
“I think that our officers put their life on the line for our marginalized people and for these kinds of celebrations to go on. So today is a celebration of our culture, our city, how strong we are and of the people who have given their lives and lost their lives in the last few days,” said O’Brien.
Members of the Fredericton Police Force were in attendance but in smaller numbers than usual.
“They need time to decompress and grieve and be at home and take their mind off anything,” said O'Brien.
Parade participants made black ribbons and tied them around their arms in recognition of the tragedy.
“Last night we sat there and made black ribbons until our hands hurt,” said parade participant Denise Mazerolle. “On this day of pride we’re all proud because we’re surviving and of course, the key thing is we spread the love.”
With files from CTV Atlantic's Nick Moore