Sandwiched in between a rainy morning and a drab afternoon, the sun came out for what organizers called “the most colourful festival in Ottawa” yesterday.
Tens of thousands of people lined the parade route for the 24th annual Capital Pride Parade, which featured more than 70 entries.
The parade, which wrapped up a week of events, is the highlight of Capital Pride, with participants and spectators coming from all over Ontario and the United States, said Capital Pride parade grand marshal Joanne Law.
“This week has been awesome,” said Law, who cited the event at the Human Rights monument, Walk The Bridge In My Shoes, the women’s stage, and the Capital Pride Gala as a few of the successes.
It reflects well on Ottawa as the capital of Canada that people here are so supportive of Pride, said Miss Capital Pride Sultanna Corangie. “Ottawa is a great city to live in.”
For Angela Schnurr and Laura King, who rode one of the motorcycles in the procession, this Pride marked their first as a married couple — they wed last week at Westboro Beach. And from Ottawa Police Staff Sgt. John Medeiros — who was one of about 30 Ottawa police officers showing their support yesterday — to first-time spectator Shea Baran, the parade attracted old and new fans.
Ottawa West Nepean MPP Jim Watson was one of many local politicians marching in the parade.
“It’s a good opportunity to show people what a tolerant country we are, and to signal clearly to the world that we’re a country that doesn’t believe in discrimination,” he said.
“It’s important to be supportive,” echoed spectator Jennifer Webster.
For Ottawa resident John Saechao, the parade served a more practical purpose.
“It was nice to see what kinds of resources are offered,” said Saechao, 22. “You don’t always hear about these youth groups, sports teams and crisis centres.”