The biggest weekend of Pride season is upon us and the sunny summer weather means there will be plenty of outdoor celebrations. There are several major events taking place this weekend so event-goers and commuters may want to plan ahead.
Here's what Vancouverites can expect during Pride weekend outdoors celebrations and road closures.
The annual Pride Parade taking place on July 31 will be a sight to see, and perhaps a sight to steer clear of if driving due to several road closures.
This year's route starts at Robson and Jervis streets, heading down Robson and turning onto Denman towards Davie Village before finishing at Sunset Beach.
The celebratory march starts at noon and Dykes on Bikes will ride the route ten minutes prior to signify that the parade is starting soon. The parade will continue until 3 p.m.
Roads closed for the parade, including the route and staging areas, are:
- Between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
- Robson Street between Jervis and Burrard streets
- Alberni Street between Bute and Burrard streets
- Thurlow Street between West Georgia and Nelson streets
- Bute Street between Alberni and Haro streets
- Jervis Street between Eihu Lane and Rosemary Brown Lane
- Between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. - Robson Street between Jervis and Denman streets
- Between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. - Denman Street between Robson Street and Beach Avenue
- Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. - Beach Avenue between Denman and Jervis streets
- Between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. - Pacific Street and Beach Avenue between Jervis and Thurlow streets
There won't be any street parking permitted along the parade route from 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. and commuters wanting to access the West End are asked to use alternate routes along West Georgia, Burrard and Davie Street.
Pride Parade: what to expect
Along with parade hosts, including Kendall Gender, Conni Smudge and Joan-E, who will be spread out along the route, the Toonie Brigade will also march down the route carrying a giant rainbow flag into which folks can throw toonies. The change collected will go towards the Vancouver Pride Society.
Between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. roads close to Sunset Beach will be subject to traffic flow changes.
Along Pacific Street and Beach Avenue between Jervis and Thurlow streets, set-up and tear down will impact local traffic.
- 9 a.m to 12:30 p.m.
- Local residents can still access and exit their homes along Beach Avenue but will have to turn right on Pacific Street to exit the area
- 12:30-3:30 p.m.
- Residents leaving their homes by car will have to turn left on Beach Avenue and won't be able to return until the Parade is complete
- 3:30 p.m. and onwards
- Local residents will be able to access and exit their homes along Beach Avenue but must continue to turn right on Pacific Street to exit until 4:30 p.m.
Sunset Beach Festival: what to expect
Same day as the Pride parade, Sunset Beach will come alive with drag, music, snacks and an artisan market. There will be three stages: the Community Stage curated by RiceCake, the TD Main Stage curated by Hotlatch and the Stoli Stage curated by Normie Corp. The Beer Garden is free and by donation but it is for those 19 years old and older only.
Kicking off Pride weekend is the Pride Takeover in Gastown, taking place Thursday (July 28) evening from 5 to 8 p.m.
With a main stage at Maple Tree Square, musicians will march down Water Street and onto Cordova Street, turning onto Abbott Street to complete the route along Carrall Street.
Pride Takeover: what to expect
Throughout the neighbourhood, there will be live music, dancing and storytelling. The takeover hub will be at Maple Tree Square where The DIVA Show will host a live performance.
East Van Horns will be marching and playing instruments all around Gastown too, filling the streets with brass tunes using a trumpet, a trombone, a tuba and more. There will be six musicians in total.
There are plenty of other events occurring over the weekend, most of them taking place indoors. In fact, there are so many to attend that we've put together a mega list of Pride events (and update it weekly).