As part of the work we do with Air New Zealand, they reached out to ask us if our members would be interested in participating on their Vancouver Pride Parade float. We put a call out to members through our Facebook Page and newsletter and you didn’t disappoint!
Early in the morning of August 5th, 2018 the city of Vancouver closed streets and the remaining cars parked along the route in preparation for the Pride celebrations were removed. What started off as a small parade is now one of the main events in Vancouver. Drawing crowds from all over the world, the parade grows larger and larger every year, with more floats being added.
The staging area on this morning for these massive floats is around Robson and Thurlow Street and is a crowded jigsaw puzzle of entries all preparing their costumes and drills. One feels a sense of excitement arriving and being behind the barriers as a participant of this Vancouver tradition to celebrate the inclusion and diversity of our community. The morning is warm and sunny and we are welcomed by the Air New Zealand & YVR team hosts with a t-shirt and water bottle. Kia Ora Vancouver volunteers of which I was one, were there to support Air New Zealand and YVR to the Vancouver community with “A Runway for All” slogan. At approximately 11.30am the Police Motorcycle drill team started onto the Parade Route clearing the way for all the floats. We were given our positions by the lead Air New Zealand organizer and there we stayed as we danced and jived along Robson Street to Denman then down Denman to Beach.
My job was to guard the back wheels of the float to make sure no objects snuck into the area, I held a lollipop with an Air New Zealand free ticket prize on top, which I gladly displayed to the crowds. As I danced to the vibration of the music coming from our DJ on our float and swinging my lollipop toward the excited crowd, it gave me a great sense of community and pride being part of a truly beautiful and fun day. So many amazing floats, so many courses, so many people, and so much love. Go Vancouver.
A very warm, heartfelt thank you to Air New Zealand and YVR Airport for having us and we had a fantastic time.
Photo credit all thanks to YVR.