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Hundreds of thousands attend Vancouver's Pride Festival


Hundreds of thousands of people from Metro Vancouver attended the annual Pride Festival, which for the first time, stretched over two days.

The marquee event hit the streets Sunday afternoon, that being Vancouver’s largest Pride Parade to date.

The parade began at the intersection of Davie and Denman streets, where more than 140 floats traveled down Pacific Street and along Pacific Boulevard, finishing at Concord Pacific Place, a new site this year.

This year’s event was bigger than last year's, with a new, longer route stretching at 3.1 kilometres.

Organizers said it’s aimed to be more accessible, with people being able to take the SkyTrain as well as watch from up above, giving them more room to move around and dance.

The event ran smoothly, and police didn’t report any incidents.

For many attendees, including Marquita Darbey, it was an emotional experience seeing the support she once only dreamed of.

"For me, it's always been about love,” she said, adding that her daughter is gay.

“It's incredible now. It's so much different. And everyone is together and that's what it's all about,” she continued.

According to the latest data from Statistics Canada, there was a 64 per cent increase in reported hate crimes based on sexual orientation from 2020 to 2021, which the Pride Festival’s organizers note too.

They said it’s one of the reasons why this year the festival went back to its roots with the theme "reconnect.”

"It's important for us to remind people of our history. Also to remind our allies that we need them to show up. Today we wanted to take up a lot of space and we did,” said Michelle Fortin, the co-chair of Vancouver Pride Society.

Even bigger plans are on the horizon for the next year, when Vancouver is set to host Canada Pride next year. Top Stories

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