Dozens of people attended the fourth annual Quesnel Pride Parade on Saturday afternoon.
Led through the city by the RCMP, the parade picked up a few extra marchers along its route from City Hall to LeBourdais Park, where participants gathered to raise the Quesnel Pride flag, listen to music, grab snow cones and chat with other Pride attendees.
Dressed in bright colours, and wearing tutus, Pride flags and even costumes, participants cheered their way across town.
At City Hall, opening remarks were made by city councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg as mayor Bob Simpson was unable to make the event. Roodenburg had a warm welcome for the parade attendees, saying, “I think this really speaks a testament to who our community is … This is just another step toward inclusion in our community.”
Following her remarks, Roodenburg posed for a selfie with the group, asking them to cheer in the background.
Organizers Julia Dillabough and Martina Feldmann have been involved in the parade for the last four years. Pride is “a way to celebrate diversity in our community and just acceptance, tolerance and create a sense of community here,” says Feldmann.
Dillabough describes Quesnel as a small community with a big heart. “It’s a community that comes out to support its people,” she says.
There were people of every age marching in the parade. The candidates and royalty of the Miss Quesnel Self Development Program marched, along with Quesnel District Teachers’ Association and many others.
Heather Peters was among those who stood on the sidewalk to watch the parade march by. She stood with a sign of her own, which read ‘None of us are equal until all of us are equal.’
“I made the sign because I think it’s really important to acknowledge that we have a diversity of people in terms of sexual orientation and gender identities in our community,” says Peters. “And to be able to support each other.”
See the next edition of the Quesnel Cariboo Observer (June 13) for more images and information on Quesnel’s Pride parade.
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