Gaylight shines bright in Whitehorse

Whitehorse’s Main Street was once again a flowing river of colour, support and pride on June 10.

Whitehorse’s Main Street was once again a flowing river of colour, support and pride on June 10.

An estimated 450 people took part in Whitehorse’s fifth annual Pride Parade, which was part of Queer Yukon’s annual 24 Hours of Gaylight celebration.

“As it often is, Pride is just a really great opportunity for the whole community to show their support of diversity and inclusion,” said Queer Yukon organizer Stephanie Hammond. “I think that was evident by all the different groups that we had taking part in the parade and the barbeque.”

“It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was dressed to the nines,” she added.

If estimates from last year and this year are correct, more people marched in the parade despite some deciding to watch the spectacle instead of being a part of it.

“I know some people who are always in the parade decided to be a spectator because they wanted to see it for a change,” said Hammond.

A highlight this year was when the parade went over two newly painted crosswalks at Main and Third Avenue. One is a rainbow — a common LGBT symbol — and the other is painted in blue, pink and white, representing the transgender flag.

Photographers lined the crosswalks to capture the moment the parade met the decorated pavement painted just days before.

“That was really special this year,” said Hammond.

The 24 Hours of Gaylight continued on with a barbeque at Rotary Park, a 1920s themed “Gin & Jazz” dance party at the Yukon Transportation Museum in the evening, and the third annual Pride Paddle canoe and kayak event on June 11, which saw a record 45 paddlers take part.

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com

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