Parade wraps up Pride Week on P.E.I.

Mitch MacDonald comment@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on August 2, 2014

Rainbow flags and tight, bright clothing filled Charlottetown's streets and Victoria Park Saturday.

A colourful parade though the downtown core marked the end of the 16th annual Pride Week on Prince Edward Island.

With the parade seeing a large turnout from both participants and bystanders watching, Tyler Murnaghan, co-chair of the Abegweit Rainbow Collective of P.E.I.,  said community support was also strong for many of the events throughout the week.

“Islanders across the whole province have shown up for our events. We had 135 people out to our gala last night, that was an amazing number,” said Murnaghan. “The parade is probably the funnest one (event) of the year.”

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The intersection of University Avenue and Grafton Street was one of the busiest spots in the parade.

A large group of bystanders in front of the cenotaph cheered and clapped as the group rolled by.

It wasn’t only Islanders that took part in the parade.

Adam Reid, a board member of Halifax Pride, was one of several Nova Scotia residents that took part in the event.

“We like to support all the other prides in the area,” said Reid. “I don’t know if I knew what to expect but it was really nice and was well attended. Lots of people on the streets, it was great.”

Reid and another member of Halifax Pride had driven the route in a van decorated with a theme of “Once Upon A Pride.”

The theme mixed fantasy characters with minorities of the gay community, including a mermaid in a wheelchair as well as three blind mice.

“It was a little play on combining fantasy characters as well as individuals from the gay community,” said Reid. “We definitely have people from all walks of life in the community, it can be hard to represent everyone but we do our best.”

The parade took a different route than originally planned.

It started at the government buildings and went down Euston Street before turning onto University Avenue.

The parade then turned onto Grafton Street before heading back to the government buildings.

The route was followed by the Pride in the Park celebrations at Victoria Park.

Shawna MacAusland, co-chair of the Abegweit Rainbow Collective of P.E.I., said the event was exciting way to cap off Pride Week 2014.

“We had a really good turnout and a lot of positive energy,” said MacAusland. “It’s just really nice to see the community come together.”