Victoria Pride Festival features many activities

Annual parade leads to colourful fair at MacDonald Park

Those with pride and allies of all ages can fill their week with rainbow fun, as the city celebrates seven days of queer culture.

Visit the Victoria Pride Society for full times and details at victoriapridesociety.org.

Here’s a list of some of the highlights for this year’s event:

The Reel Queer Film Festival (June 28 to 30, various times)  For the first time this year, see the joint venture by the Victoria Film Festival, the Victoria Pride Society, Out In Schools and the Camosun Pride collective. Full schedule available at the Victoria Film Festival’s website: victoriafilmfestival.com. Tickets are available at 1215 Blanshard St.

The Big Gay Dog Walk (June 30, 1 to 3 p.m.) This free walk gives every furry friend and their lovers a chance to parade how proud they are of each other during Pride week. The walk starts in the off-leash area at the end of Cook Street on Dallas Road.

Drag Ball (July 1,  noon) With boys in high heels and girls in mustaches, this true battle of the sexes will encourage everyone to come out to Victoria West Park for free fun. Bring a costume and your pitching arm.

“Celebrating Imperfection” Pride Comedy Show (July 4, 8 p.m.) Join the laughter for a hilarious romp through coming-out disasters, festival break-ups, Gulf Island misadventures, Pride Stress Syndrome, dysfunctional family values, elbow cellulite and a lot more, at the Ambrosia Event Centre (638 Fisgard St.). Tickets are $20 at the door.

Pride In the Word (July 6, 7:15 p.m.) Join Victoria’s youth poet laureate Aysia Law and special guests at this opportunity for the inner voice of youth to be expressed, free of judgment, at the Ambrosia Event Centre. Tickets are $10 at the door.

Pride Parade and Festival (July 7, noon) The most colourful event in the city all year is the Pride Parade, starting at noon at Government Street and Pandora Avenue. The festival opens immediately afterwards at MacDonald Park in James Bay. This year, the main stage will include local Victoria artists Bananafish Dance Orchestra and Angela Hehr. A fully stocked beer garden caters to the 19+ crowd, and a kids camp makes the free day accessible for everyone.