Although this Sunday’s Victoria Pride parade is meant to be a big celebration, ensuring the festivities happen without a hitch is complicated.
“It’s a jigsaw puzzle,” said David Tillson, the director of the Victoria Pride Society, which has put together the parade for the past 16 years.
The order of the procession is an exact science. Motorcycles have to go first, and can only be followed by smart cars because of bike fumes.
Mayor Dean Fortin and other politicians go afterwards, followed by pedestrians and horse-drawn carriages.
“There are also some groups who don’t like each other, so they go at opposite ends of the parade,” said Tillson.
Also part of the procession is a B.C. Transit double-decker bus to transport those who have difficulty walking the 2.5-kilometre parade route.
Parade co-ordinator Patrick Malachi is organizing this year’s parade. There are 45 entrants so far, but he expects more to sign up at the last minute.
For that reason, the official order isn’t worked out until the Friday before the Sunday parade.
Beginning at the end of the parade route at Macdonald Park in James Bay is the Pride Festival, featuring more than 100 vendors. The party also includes a beer garden, a Pride House display and a 15-metre obstacle course for kids.
To walk alongside the parade or just cheer on the participants, the march starts at noon at the corner of Government and Pandora streets, proceeding south on Government to MacDonald Park.