Thousands line the streets for 30th anniversary of Halifax Pride parade
One of the biggest events of the summer marked a special anniversary in Halifax. The 30th anniversary of the Halifax Pride parade drew tens of thousands of spectators and participants to the streets of downtown.
And this year, for the first time ever, a sitting prime minister participated in the show of pride.
"What a pleasure to be here at Halifax Pride, the energy, the beautiful day, the celebration of diversity, of rights, of the LGBTQ+ community is a wonderful thing to be part of," said Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, speaking with media before marching in the parade.
The Halifax Pride parade is said to be the fourth largest in Canada.
The parade lineup changed this year to start with community groups who work every day of the year to offer support and services. The Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance led the way.
"It's the first time for the Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance and an indigenous float to come into the parade, we deemed it as the float of reconciliation, to build those bridges that we need to build," said John Sylliboy of the Wabanaki Two Spirit Alliance.
Members of the Magic Project- a new organization in Halifax- were named Grand Marshalls of the parade. The organization uses art and photography for community outreach.
"We've taken this to be a platform for talking about marginalized communities and issues they face," says Grand Marshall Emma Paulson.
"It means everything for me, particularly I think it's so important to have visibility and representation of all walks of life who happen to be queer, and I know when I was younger, I didn't have a lot of role models who were black and gay," says Grand Marshall Kate MacDonald.
Organizers say there is still much more to come. The Halifax Pride festival features more than 100 events. Highlights include lectures, comedy shows, sporting events, panel discussions, dance parties, drag shows and also vigils of remembrance as people come together for a festival of pride.