Pride Parade makes its way through downtown Winnipeg

Winnipeg's downtown was bursting with rainbows Sunday as thousands of people took part in the annual Pride Parade. 

Thousands of people take part in 32nd annual event

Marchers made their way down Portage Avenue Sunday afternoon as part of the annual Pride Parade, some carrying signs and banners. (Thibault Jourdan/CBC)

Winnipeg's downtown was bursting with rainbows Sunday as thousands of people took part in the annual Pride Parade. 

The march kicked off at the Manitoba Legislature at 11 a.m.

Thousands of people participated in the annual Pride Parade through downtown Winnipeg Sunday morning. (Thibault Jourdan/CBC)
This peacock costume must have taken this marcher some serious time and effort to put together. (Thibault Jourdan/CBC )
There were plenty of pets at the Pride Parade. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

The parade made its way down Portage Avenue and through the city's most famous intersection, Portage and Main, ending at Waterfront Drive near The Forks. 

This year, organizers of the 10-day Pride Winnipeg festival chose Pride of Colour as the theme to send a message of inclusion to marginalized and silenced voices within the LGBTQ community. 

"We were leaving behind our trans and non-binary individuals, two-spirit and people of colour, so it's time we should start talking about these experiences and people," said Muhammad Ahsan, president of Pride Winnipeg.

Ahsan noted that having a person of colour in a position of power within the organization has allowed for people from marginalized communities to come forward.

"Our community groups are able to communicate a lot easier with me ... I have a great board that mostly consists of very privileged community members that are willing to listen to the recommendations and changes," said Ahsan.

Pride marchers hand out goody bags to those attending the parade. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
Even Winnipeg's youngest residents got in on the fun at Pride Parade.

He added that while the Winnipeg Pride parade has been going for 32 years, acceptance for those communities has come at a slower rate.

"They were not able to [keep] up with these Pride parties. It's not because they don't want to, but because they have to carry the burden of all these intersectional challenges they face," he said.

He plans on working to create a healthier and safer place for those people to succeed. 

Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman says he feels proud to see so many people show up to support the LGBTQ community. 

Pride marchers show off their unique hair styles and embrace the rainbow colours. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

"You know when you look out of this crowd and you see all the smiling faces and people participating, it's
really a beautiful sight," he said. 

A group of parade-goers share a hug and a smile. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

Kim Hansen accompanied her daughter Chelsea and daughter's partner, Jessica, to the parade.

"I believe in equality of everybody and that we need to be patient and kind to everybody," said Hansen.

While Chelsea has received constant support from her mother, seeing the growing numbers at Pride provides a sense of comfort.

"I really like the crowd, the vibe is really awesome here and everyone's having a great time ... it's really important to increase awareness," she said.

Jonathan Meikle brought his son to the Pride Parade to teach him about the power of inclusivity. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

Jonathan Meikle was another parent attending the parade with his young son, and wanted to demonstrate what it means to be inclusive. 

"I have a ton of love for my community, and it doesn't matter how you love or how you show love, there's no wrong way to love," he said.

Meikle believes that Pride is having an effect on changing what was once a negative stigma surrounding the LGBTQ community.

"Growing up in the '90s, I've seen the changes in the general mentality and society and it's great. We've come a long way and we've got further to go, but we're getting there," he said. 

The Pride parade ended near the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, where a party was held at the Forks. 

Winnipeggers look on as the Pride Parade goes down Memorial Boulevard. (Ahmar Khan/CBC)
Marchers show off their colourful clothes, accessories and smiles while making their way through the Pride Parade route. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
A woman shows off her Pride spirit with a flag. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
A man wore his most colourful beard to the Pride Parade. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
Winnipeggers showed off their Pride spirit in creative costumes. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
Winnipeggers showed up in their most colourful outfits for the Pride Parade. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)
Pride parade floats were decked out in the rainbow flag while blaring music throughout the route. (Ahmar Khan/CBC News)

With files from Ahmar Khan