Fredericton’s First Pride Parade

Posted on November 1, 2010 by

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FREDERICTON PRIDE     [by Eugene Campbell]

On Friday, August 6, Fredericton Mayor Brad Woodside officially raised the Pride flag in front of City Hall, declaring the beginning of the New Brunswick capital’s First Pride Parade and Pride Week.

In front of a small, but enthusiastic crowd, the long-time Fredericton Mayor congratulated all who took part in the week-long event.  He went on to say, “I am the Mayor of Fredericton, and have absolutely no disregard for race, creed, religion, or sexual orientation.”  He reiterated those remarks the following Monday night at the regular session of Fredericton City Council.

It was a jam-packed gallery at the historic Fredericton City Hall on Monday night – August 9 – as the Mayor read the proclomation naming it Gay Pride Week in the New Brunswick capital.  He said, “As Mayor, I declare August 8 to the 15, 2010, Gay Pride Week.  This is a celebration of the wonderful diversity off Fredericton.”  He went on to say, “It is my pleasure to do so.  I am the Mayor of all people, regardless of race, religion, color, creed or sexual orientation.  That is my choice.  You might say we have turned a page together.”  After the Reading of the Proclomation at City Hall, Pride followers moved to BOOM Nightclub for Kink/Fetish Night.

After the Pride Parade  on Sunday afternoon, August 8, Woodside once again made the remarks that he had absolutely no disregard for race, creed, color, religion, or sexual orientation.  He went on to thank the media for their support.

The Pride Parade was held Sunday, and traveled along the walking trail along the beautiful Saint John River.  The weather couldn’t have been more co-operative.  There was not a large gathering of people along the trail, until the parade reached the Carleton Street over-pass, which was lined with literally hundreds of sight-seers and supporters.  As they proceeded to the historic Officer’s Square in front of the two-century-old Officer’s Barrack’s, now home of the York-Sunbury Historical Society, they were met by even more – a crowd which numbered well into the hundreds.

City Councilor Mike O’Brien, called the first-ever, city-supported parade a success.  He said it was held this year along the waterfront because the Princess Margaret Bridge was still closed to traffic, and to hold the Parade on a city street, would mean closing, what at the time was a major thorough-fare.  He said that maybe next year, it will take place along a city street, but added, “who knows!  Maybe they will want to hold it along the waterfront again.”

Various vendors circled the Square, and shortly after the arrival of the Parade, an afternoon of outstanding local entertainment followed.  Before the entertainment got underway, the Mayor was given the opportunity to speak briefly, as was Parade-Marshall, Allison Brewer, who congratulated all who participated.

Entertainment throughout the afternoon was provided by a number of local artists, some of whom took part in the recording of ‘JUST LOVE’, which was released on Wednesday night at BOOM, the city’s only gay-friendly night club.  Not all of the performers who are on the CD, took part in the afternoon’s events, however.

People of all ages took part in the afternoon-long celebration.  Debi Skidmore, Chair of the Organizing Committee of Pride Week, said “I can say that yesterday (August 8), was a phenomenal success.  There were hundreds of people who came out to celebrate diversity – it was estimated that over 1,000 attended  between the Parade and the folks coming through the festival.  The evening was great, the performances were amazing, and the vendors were happy.  It was more than worth the work and sunburns.”

The Parade and festival following, were followed by a full week of activity throughout the city.

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Posted in: Pride