Pride 2007, Ottawa, Canada


Every year, in late August, for the past quite a few years anyway, there has been a "Pride Week" here in the Nation's Capital. And that week ends with a parade and an Info Fair which is held on the grounds of the City Hall. Beer tents and fast food stands, stages and music, and Pride colours flying everywhere let passers by know that it's party time!

We set up the Information Tables

In past years it has not always been fair weather, so the information area is sheltered next to City Hall itself. This year, however the forecast is for a bright, warm, sunny day, and the overhang will provide shelter from the sun. Those setting up information tables arrive early, for there is a fair amount of work to be done before the crowds arrive, usually immediately after the parade.

The parade starts in the area near what is known as The Garden of the Provinces, and winds its way through the centre of the town, past the Federal Parliament buildings, ending up at the fairgrounds at City Hall. Leading the parade is a pipe band, and here they are arriving just after 2 o'clock in the afternoon!

The parade band arrives at the Fair Compound.

There were flags all over the place!

And right behind them is a set of rainbow flags. Most of the marchers, who were behind them throughout the parade, disperse at the gates to the fair. But these standard bearers are considered as members of the band, so in they come.

Then came the giant Pride flag, carried by a whole bunch of people. There must have been about twenty people needed to keep it straight and not dragging. It eventually ended up as a backdrop for the entertainment stage.

The giant flag enters the compound, carried by a lot of people.
There were all kinds of people, dressed up in fancy get up.

A lot of marchers dressed up for the occasion. Some, like these two peakocks, were quite colourful!

Then came the crowds! One estimate put attendance for the afternoon at just under 5000! I was also told that attendance for all the events held during the week-long celebration totalled 19,000! How about that?

The crowds arrive.
Thousands were there.

It was hot! And the crowds in front of the beer tent, which can be seen in the background, did their best to keep cool. In the process, the beer sellers did a roaring business. By all reports it was a record year for sales!

Early in the afternoon Amanda Ryan, the President of Gender Mosaic, came by to inspect the Info Table which had been set up and staffed by Linda Slater and yours truly.

Amanda Ryan, the President of Gender Mosaic inspects the exhibit.
Amanda gives advice to Linda.

Amanda was quite pleased with the set-up, and offered to assist Linda while Samantha went on a quest for a traditional thirst quencher.

But the highlight of my afternoon came when my hero, Larry Hill, Deputy Chief of Police, stopped by. He has such a commanding presence; tough, strong, but oh so gentle. He is well respected by the trans community, and I can't say enough good things about him.

My hero, Deputy Chief of Police, Larry Hill.
I get a big hug from Barbara Hill

Larry was accompanied by his wife, Barbara who, to me as well as to many others of our community, is a very special lady. Talking with her is such a treat! And, like me, she is a hugger! She is always a pleasure to be with.


So... guess who had a fantastic time at the Pride Info Fair?


Guess who had a good time!
Me!
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