August is prime time for Maritime Pride festivals, with a pair of Pride parades in the region this weekend.
The Cape Breton Pride parade made its way through the streets of Sydney on Saturday, while Saint John Pride’s parade took over the city’s uptown a short time later.
For Mariah Darling of Saint John Pride, it’s been a “really beautiful week” of celebration and reaffirmation.
“We’ve had great crowds turn out, great passion from the community,” Darling said. “Our events have gone really well, better than we could have anticipated.”
The parade is just one part of Saint John Pride, which began on Tuesday and continues through Sunday.
June is recognized as the official month for Pride events around the world, marking the landmark Stonewall Riots which began in New York City on June 28, 1969. Homosexuality had only been decriminalized in Canada a few weeks earlier, receiving royal assent a day before the riots began.
Elsewhere in the Maritimes, Halifax Pride and Pride PEI festivals are held July.
Pride festivals continue in New Brunswick for the rest of August.
Fredericton Pride is from Aug. 12 to Aug. 21, while Greater Moncton’s River of Pride runs Aug. 19 through Aug. 28.
Darling says events in New Brunswick are held partly to commemorate Canada’s first gay rights parade, held on Aug. 28, 1971 in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver.
“The other half of that is that in New Brunswick, June and July are a little too unpredictable weather-wise for us,” says Darling.
Parade participants were warned to be cautious with Saturday’s extreme temperatures, particularly in Sydney, where a heat warning was in place.
St. John’s cancelled its Pride parade last month due to dangerously warm conditions in the Newfoundland and Labrador capital.
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