Last year I vowed not to return to watch the Pride Parade unless I could drag someone along to suffer with me. Who knew I’d find someone? Even better, my partner Jeff is a Pride Parade virgin. After expressing a desire to go I cautioned him that we would need to arrive early in order to find a place to sit, as standing was Very Bad.
We arrived later than planned but did indeed find a spot to sit about three blocks past the start of the parade route. Though it had rained earlier in the morning, by parade start the sky was clearing and it was a perfectly warm 21ºC. The parade began right on time and shortly after it did I came to realize the girls sitting directly in front of us (on the sidewalk curb) were Screamers. They screamed at most everything. They were also Grabbers. Any time a person strode by offering a cheap bead necklace, card, candy or condoms their hands were thrust out and waved around like flags urgently calling for surrender, except in this case they were asking the parade participants to surrender their loot to them. They made off with a pretty good haul.
The BC Liberals were once again absent.
Most of the left-leaning parties were represented, though the Conservatives and NPA also returned. Hedy Fry was again on hand after narrowly winning re-election in May. This time she was dressed merely in a silver sparkly gown, with no hint of power armor or alien headdress.
Spencer Chandra Herbert was again present and was as adorable-looking as ever. Elizabeth May always looks like she’s having the best time ever, kind of like a happy drunk. Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson is somewhat the same. He wore a snazzy shirt.
Crazy Naked Guy did not return. I wonder if perhaps he is now wandering happy and naked in the Great Beyond now. Or got arrested after last year’s parade.
I had predicted five floats of men in underwear and turned out to be under, as there were at least six — and that was with the Odyssey’s absence this year.
Again, the parade seemed to run out of gas in the last 15 minutes and Nic’s VGVA group was dead last instead of being merely third-from-last like in 2010. Here’s a great close-up of Nic lurching after an errant volleyball. Great except for that fat head in the way, a recurring theme in my photos given where I was sitting.
Despite making no effort to secure any loot myself I still came away with three items: a leaflet from the BC Civil Liberties Association (actually three of them — do I give off a civil liberties vibe or something?), a leaflet for a play called Bare: A Pop Opera (“He’s wearing glasses, I bet he goes to the theater!”) and finally a big blueberry gumball which I did not technically receive, as it bounced off my shoulder and landed in front of me. Jeff took it to help fight his morning mouth.
I will say this — having someone along, especially your partner — makes for a much better experience. I also greatly preferred a sore butt after sitting on concrete for nearly three hours vs. the sore back from years past. I still say they could knock a good 15 minutes off the parade and not lose much.