Saturday, July 21, 2012

Photo Essay: Saskatoon PRIDE Part I: The Parade, June 16, 2012

Text and photos © Robert Barry Francos / FFanzeen, 2012
Pictures can be enlarged by clicking on them
A link to many more photos at the end

Each year, the number of the participants and viewers of both the Saskatoon PRIDE Parade and the subsequent Festival has doubled. The first year I saw PRIDE here, in 2010, it was held in the park behind City Hall, including peformances by Carrie Catherine and Absofunkinlutely, with the number around 1500. The next year it twice the size, and though it was in the same spot, it extended past the park and included the entire street in front of the Frances Morrison Library (the main public branch). The musicians that year were Jeffrey Straker (and band), and the duo Once Were Lovers. This year, it was held in Victoria Park, on the southern tip of the city, in a green space about the size (in my estimation) of the Sheeps Meadow in Central Park. This time it was once again Jeffrey Straker (and band), and the wonderful Kirby Criddle. There were other acts after I left (Kinnie Starr, Boy & Gurl, and Run Romeo Run), but the sun was getting’ to me, and I had a long walk home. In all three years, the lead-off were drag king and queens doing lip-syncing to dance hits.

While I didn’t walk the entire route of the parade this year, I did catch the gathering and launch, which was filled with excitement, wild costumes, camaraderie, and general good will. All the LGBTQ (if you don’t know, look it up!)-friendly businesses and religious orders were present, from the Quakers to the Synagogue. Even politicians – some out, some supportive – from two of the parties were in attendance, including the more liberal NDP (New Democratic Party) and the right-of-center Liberals, but there was a clear absence from members of the two ruling groups, the right-wing Conservatives and Saskatchewan Party. It’s been said that our mayor will appear at a car door opening if there is a camera there, but even he failed to make a showing (though he is right there every year at a religious organization's Prayer Breakfast… I’m just sayin’…).

Anyway, whether in costume or not, participants in the parade that marched through downtown were a happy lot, which is easily seen in the photos below.

Members of the Rosebud Burlesque group

AIDS Saskatoon, led by Nicole White kneeling in the foreground.

As much as I like the "Got Pride?" shirt, it's the tattoo that really caught my attention

Applying the final make-up

A young Gandoff

The NDP float

The defeated yet happy Liberals

Hula-hooping and dancing to the music coming from the floats
What I especially like about this shot is the light reflections on the face.

Joining in the fun

My favorite costume of the day, worn by Emily Striker.

The parade organizer unintentionally strikes a pose.
A pirate with that sign behind him was just too good to pass up.

Let the PRIDE parade begin!

An organization for those unsure or in need of help.

Mr and Mrs Gay Regina come to visit.

The armed forces are represented by asking and telling.

Perhaps it's the distortion, but I like this photo's flows.

Isn't this cliche already?

The obligatory large rainbow flag, not that there's anything wrong with it...

The Rainbow Theatre's (get it?) two-way car.

Religious organizations of all kinds were there.

Mr. Diva's represents the city's most infamous gay club.

And the media - here it's Global - questions viewers after the parade passes.

The link to many more photos [HERE]

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