Dozens gathered at Victoria City Hall to watch the raising of the Pride and Transgender flags Friday afternoon.
Coun. Marianne Alto spoke about Victoria’s part as an inclusive community for its LGBTQ members, along with David Tillson and several other Victoria Pride Society organizers. The flag raising ceremony marked the start of Pride Week in Victoria, which runs from July 1 to 9.
There are a number of events for all to enjoy. On Saturday, July 1, the first all-ages Pride event, the Memorial Dragball Game, takes place at Vic West Ball Park located at Bay and Wilson streets. Those with lipstick and wigs will join the Queens, while those with facial hair will join the Kings in the game of ball starting at noon.
On Sunday, July 2, the Big Gay Dog Walk will take place at the Dallas Road Dog Park, where dog owners and non-owners alike can join in on one group dog walk at 12:30 p.m.
The same evening, the Victoria Pride Sunset Boat Cruise sets off for a three-hour tour around the downtown Victoria harbour and beyond, embarking at 7 p.m.
The following week writers from Victoria and across the country will read at Canada’s largest Pride literary event, Pride in the Word, on Saturday, July 8. Doors open at 6:30 for a 7 p.m. start. Writers Ivan Coyote, Adele Barclay, Jillian Christmas, Brett Josef Grubisic, Robin Stevenson and Beni Xiao will read, while Billeh Nickerson will be the host that evening.
The largest event is the Victoria Pride Parade on Sunday, July 9, beginning at the corner of Pandora Avenue and Government Street at 11 a.m., and finishing at MacDonald Park in James Bay. More than 100 groups and floats are expected to take part in the festivities.
Pride Week finishes with the Victoria Pride Festival at noon. As in past years, thousands are expected to join the event, where there will be entertainment, a beer garden, food court, vendor area and a kids’ camp.
For more information about Pride Week, visit victoriapridesociety.org.