Toronto Pride Parade 2013
The Toronto Pride Parade is the yoghurt to the smoothie that is Pride in general. It is the champagne/drugs to New Year's Eve. It is the ketchup to a plate of delicious French fries. In short, it is crucial, it is the main event, and it draws the most people to our city to celebrate gay rights and being.
Pride wouldn't be the same without the parade and its infectious positive energy that floods through the city on Pride Sunday, which falls on June 30 this year. That's right, I love pride. The fact that we live in a city where everyone gets to openly be whoever they want is pretty beautiful. And the festival is also a great opportunity to ogle cute man-butts in g-strings, amirite? Titties, too. It's a sex positive party where you get to be as outrageous as humanly possible.
This year, there will be over 160 groups and organizations marching through the Church-Wellesley area in the parade, ranging from Catholics Attracted to the Same Sex, to Cupe Local 79, to Trojan. Did I mention there are boatloads of free stuff? Glitter, condoms, accessories, and other crucial gifts of the gays.
Check out these other posts for more info:
In the meantime, here's the schedule, route info, and some viewing tips for this year's parade:
The parade route has been extended this year, and it'll run all the way down to Yonge-Dundas Square. It'll still begin at Church St. and Bloor St. E., and it will run all the way down Yonge St until it hits the square. Streets will obviously be closed to traffic throughout the duration of the parade. Church St. transforms into a street fair during the final weekend of pride anyway, so driving is a definite cluster in the area. I would avoid running errands there too, really, if at all possible, and just show up to have fun. A full map of the parade route can be viewed on the Pride site.
The parade starts at Church and Bloor St. E. at 2 p.m. sharp, and the procession usually takes a couple of hours.
This years theme is SUPERQUEER!, so bust out the Wonder Woman boots and capes, and prepare to see even more colourful spandex than normal.
Tips for general enjoyment:
Prepare for the heat
While there is sure to be a surplus of sexy men in g-strings attacking you with giant water guns, you still might find yourself hella deydrated after standing outside for hours in what is almost 100 per cent sure to be a heatwave. Toronto, as I'm sure you've noticed, is a giant frying pan this time of year, so at least pack a reusable water bottle. And a hat, if you burn easily.
I mean, way early. Like before noon. That way, you might have a chance at snagging a spot on a patio along the route, and you can enjoy the scenery from the shade with a pitcher of beer and whilst eating a hamburger or suitable alternative. Much more ideal than jostling for space and feeling guilty about smoking cigarettes in packed crowds. Or something.
Not the early bird type? Think about watching closer to Yonge-Dundas Square
That way, you don't necessarily have to worry about showing up at the 2 p.m. start time, and you can stake out a good spot for the stuff happening later.
Don't be afraid to bust out a costume
The beauty of Pride is no one is out to judge anyone else. If you're usually a bit timid or low-key, but always kind of wish it was your stye to sport a crazy costume, this is the time to step out of your comfort zone and just do it. Break out those furry boots, your favourite viking hat that you save for special occasions, or just prance around in your underpants if the mood strikes you. Because nobody gives a shit, today. You might even make some friends if you put yourself out there.
Other marches happening as part of Pride
The Dyke March
The annual Dyke March is very explicitly not a parade; rather, it's meant as a display of strength and solidarity amongst women and trans people--a serious political demonstration. This year's march will take place on Saturday, June 29. Check out the route here.
The Trans March
The Trans March is open to not only trans people, but their friends and allies, as well. However, trans women of colour and trans people of different abilities are encouraged to step up and lead the march as examples of particular awesomeness. The march has been an annual event since 2009, and this year's march will take place on Yonge St. on June 28, with an initial gathering at Norman Jewison Park.
Do you have any more tips for enjoying the festivities? Let us know in the comments.
ARE YOU DOING PRIDE? Add your photos to our Pride Toronto stream or by simply tagging your photos with #prideTO on Instagram.
Photo by dtstuff9 in the blogTO Flickr pool
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