Saskatoon Pride Parade marks 15 years of colourful celebration
Hundreds march in 15th anniversary of the event
Since the millennium, Saskatoon has celebrated queer culture and raised awareness each year with a parade.
Hundreds attended the annual Saskatoon Pride Parade on on Saturday. This year, participants were encouraged to create a bigger, bolder celebration for the 15th anniversary of the event.
Craig Watson said this is the largest pride event he has experienced in his eight years living in the city.
"It is mind blowing how much the community and everybody is getting involved and trying to change the way people think about it," Watson said. "Especially in a community like Saskatoon, it is in the Prairies and it is a little bit different than bigger cities so I am really exicted."
Watson, who hosts a community radio program aimed at raising awareness of LGBT issues, said the community is more comfortable in its own skin now than ever before.
"I think people are excited about the normalcy of the whole thing," he said. "People are just excited to enjoy each other's company and love together."
First Sask. gay marriage celebrated
Barbara Campbell, a member of St. Thomas Wesley United Church in Saskatoon, is proud to be a part of the landmark event.
Campbell explained that her congregation was the first in the province to declare itself "affirming" in 1997.
"We welcome gay, lesbian, trans people and we have for a long time," Campbell said. "Our minister, who is on the float... actually performed the first gay marriage in the province."
The church's float in the parade featured a wedding arch and underneath it a live reenactment of a gay marriage was on display.
"It is important to show our solidarity and to celebrate the diversity of people," Campbell said of her church's presence at the parade.
More floats, different route
The parade's route changed this year to include different parts of the downtown. Participants were encouraged to go bigger than in previous years and enter a float rather than a walking group.
AcroYoga's Millissa Greenwood entered the parade with a moving performance of acrobatic yogis.
"We wanted to show our support," Greenwood said. "It is pretty amazing. It has been such an incredible turnout. I had no idea that there was so much support."
Greenwood, who teaches classes through the city's One Yoga studio, said the principles of yoga are a good fit with Saskatoon Pride 2015's attitude.
"It is for everybody. Everyone is one, connected," Greenwood said.