More people, more floats, at this year's Charlottetown Pride parade
"We've got a lot of things going on," Pride parade organizer says participation more than doubled
More than double the number of groups participated in Charlottetown's Pride parade this year, according to Mitchell MacLean, director of communications for Pride PEI.
"There's been a huge amount of growth in terms of Pride week itself and outside of Pride week. We've got a lot of things going on," he said.
For the parade in Charlottetown, MacLean said they had about 160 groups register this year, compared to 60 last year. That's not including individuals who chose to march as well.
Shayne Stanger is one of hundreds of spectators who lined the streets in the city's downtown to watch the parade. Stanger noticed Pride celebrations have changed considerably over the years.
"It's amazing to be able to see the youth of today being able to be free and accepted, and not have to hide anymore," Stanger said.
For Cally Kalistamevitier, walking in the parade is an opportunity to celebrate the community,
"Everyone forgets about us," Kalistamevitier said. "If you can make a loud statement full of colours, it's a great thing."
Challenges remain for Pride PEI
Pride PEI recently expanded to Summerside, and held three Pride events there this week.
MacLean said the hope is to add permanent positions to help grow the organization's presence in Summerside, but added it's been a challenge finding venues and safe spaces for the Island's LGBT community.
"It's an important reminder as to why we're here today because this will continue to be a necessity until that conversation doesn't happen anymore."