Edmonton Pride Parade 2015

Edmonton smashes its previous attendance record for Pride, as the annual Parade returns to Old Strathcona after more than two decades

By Emil Tiedemann

THE last time the Edmonton Pride Parade marched down Whyte Avenue, Basic Instinct was steaming up the box office, Billy Ray Cyrus had an "Achy Breaky Heart," and Roseanne was the most-watched show on TV. That was 1992. 

Edmonton became the 3rd Canadian city to 'install' rainbow crosswalks!

This is 23 years later, and the Parade has proudly returned home to Old Strathcona. And the neighbourhood has embraced the rainbow effect, the streets shining brighter than ever before! 

Rainbow crosswalks and banners, chalked up sidewalks, decorated storefronts, and Pride-themed food & drink specials criss-cross the world-famous Avenue, all in support of Edmonton's visible and ever-growing LGBTQ+ community. 

This was the first time the Canadian military marched in #yegpride!
There were plenty of examples of #oldstrath pride for Pride!

This year there were 90 entries and more than 2,200 participants in the 90-minute Parade, which kicked off at 108th Street before going north on 104th Street up to 86th Avenue. 

Amongst those marchers were Grand Marshal Michael Phair, Premier Rachel Notley, Mayor Don Iveson, MP Linda Duncan, former MLA's Laurie Blakeman and Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton Oiler Ben Scrivens & wife Jenny Scrivens, City Councillors Scott McKeen and Ben Henderson, transgender advocates Marni Panas & Mickey Wilson, RCMP assistant Commissioner Marianne Ryan, and national Liberal leader Justin Trudeau

City Councillor Scott McKeen has always been a proud supporter of Pride!
This is Mayor Don Iveson's second time participating in the Pride Parade!
NDP MP Linda Duncan and our Premier Rachel Notley showing their pride!
Liberal leader Justin Trudeau made his first appearance at #yegpride!

What an amazing showing of support and respect for Edmonton's Pride community, and a far cry from even just 23 years ago when marchers wore paper bags over their heads out of fear of losing their job, friends or even family.

Former City Councillor Michael Phair, this year's Grand Marshal, was there at that 1992 Parade and remembers what it was like back then for Edmonton's gay men and women.
 
The Briefing Room's float won 'Best Motorized Entry' at the Parade!



"About 75 people marched with paper bags over their heads," he told the St. Albert Gazette in 2013. This year the number of people who attended Pride was estimated at about 55,000, that's 20,000 more than last year and more than any year ever. 

The Edmonton Pride Festival, which is the fourth largest in all of Canada, and one of the oldest, runs until June 14th. For a complete list of Pride-themed events during Pride Week, click HERE

Happy Pride, Edmonton! #yegpride
 
There were plenty of superheroes at this year's Pride Parade!


(all photos by Emil Tiedemann)

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