London’s most colourful festival will come to a close this weekend, but not before Pride festivities take over the downtown core.
The final three days of the Pride London Festival will include dance performances, a hockey tournament, activities in Victoria Park and the 22nd annual Pride Parade.
Pride President Andrew Rosser notes there’s been a lot of firsts for the festival this year, including the new rainbow crosswalks and the Pride flag being raised at London Police headquarters.
“We’ve had a great year as a community and it shows how much London is supporting us and this festival, it’s been overwhelming the amount of support we’ve received so far,” said Rosser.
After Black Lives Matter protesters stalled this year’s Pride Parade in Toronto, some have questioned whether we should expect the same in London.
Rosser said they’re welcome to join in the parade, but London Police will not be barred from participating.
“We have a very strong relationship with the London Police force, they’ve signed the pledge to end homophobia and transphobia and biphobia in our city, and that’s one thing we will never change is their involvement in our parade,” he said. “They are our allies, they’ve been very supportive, and we’ve done a lot of work in rebuilding that relationship.”
Police Chief John Perry will be walking in the Parade, along with other members of the Police Service. The parade gets underway at 12:30p.m. on Sunday afternoon at Queens Ave by the Western Fair District.
It will end in Victoria Park, where three days of “Pride in the Park” festivities begin at 6p.m. Friday evening.
Throughout the weekend, visitors to the park will be able to check out dance performances at the band shell, food and craft vendors, a kid’s zone, and a fenced-in pet zone.
There’s also a hockey tournament happening Saturday at the Western Fair Sports Centre, and renowned Britney Spears impersonator Derrick Barry performing at the Doubletree By Hilton.
For more information on everything that’s happening, click here.