Pride Week clews up with parade

Published on July 16, 2017

An estimated two thousand folks of all ages and sporting many colours of the rainbow in costumes of various shapes and sizes, lined the streets of downtown St. john’s on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon for the 2017 St. John’s Pride annual Pride Week Parade. With many on-lookers along the route, the parade made its way from the steps of St. John’s City Hall along Duckworth Street eastbound for Bannerman Park to end the week-long activities for Pride St. John’s with the Pride Picnic in the Park.

©Joe Gibbons, The Telegram

An estimated 2,500 people gathered Sunday to finish up the Pride festival in St. John’s.

These woman were happy to lend their support to the Pride Parade Sunday afternoon.
Joe Gibbons, The Telegram

The Pride Parade is the final event of the annual Pride festival that celebrates and supports the LBGTQ+ communities in St. John’s.

“We are amazed with the success of today’s parade,” said member of St. John’s Pride, Amanda Kane. “The streets were full, it took forever to organize all of the groups, but it was well worth it.”

Throngs of people gathered in downtown St. John’s Sunday to celebrate.

Royal Newfoundland Mounted Unit members Const. George Horan and Const. Chad Rodgers lead the parade.
Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

The marchers sang and smiled as they made their way from City Hall, to Bannerman Park.

Seventy groups signed up to show their support, including Echo Pond Summer Camp.

“We just completed our first camp for transgender and gender diverse kids from ages 7 to 15 called Camp Rainbow,” said Katie Harrison. “We have a lot of kids who to come to camp who are transgender or gender diverse, so we wanted to come out and show our support for them.”

Dachshunds of Newfoundland and Labrador came out to participate in the St. John’s Pride Parade.
Beth Penney/The Telegram

Members of the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary also came to march in the 2017 Pride Parade.

“This is an important event that we want to support, and celebrate,” said Chief of Police, Joe Boland. “It’s not about us. The Pride Committee has been working extremely hard to put all of this together.”

Stephan Jewczyk from Cochrane Street United Church told The Telegram that his  church members are are all about inclusion.

“It’s very important that people are aware that we are here to support them,” said Jewczyk.

“At our church, we believe that God loves everybody,” said Oliver Dingwell, student minster.

From left, Katie Harrison, Rebecca Smyth, Mark Norris, Connor Griffin, who are members from Echo Pond Summer Camp who came to show support Sunday.
Beth Penney/The Telegram

Celebrations have been ongoing all week and Tyler Dalton told The Telegram about his favourite event of the week.

“Drag bingo was super fun,” said Dalton. “We played bingo, and then drag queens would perform in between. It was an interesting mix, because you had people there just to play bingo, and others there just to see the performers. But everyone had a great time.”

Representatives of the St. John’s Native Friendship Centre march in the parade.
Joe Gibbons, The Telegram

Over the past week activities ranged from movie nights, beach fires, to fetish night. The Pride committee had lots to plan.

“There’s an overwhelming number of people who were here today from all over Canada,” said Kane Sunday afternoon. “They spend their summer basically tracking the different Pride Weeks. It’s incredible.”

“Next week we’re going to start planning for next year,” Kane said, laughing.