Elizabeth visited this past weekend. We hoped for some nice sister time while Graham was in Vancouver for a long stretch, but we were really lucky that his weekend was also pride weekend in Saskatoon. Now I love me some pride festivities, but not all pride parades are parties. Like Joe’s sign ‘This used to be a riot’, equality and acceptance haven’t reached all the earth’s corners (recall Budapest pride in 2009). I was worried that some of the conservatism and social justice non-savvy-ness I have encountered here so far might make Saskatoon pride more like Budapest than Toronto – but I was keen to go either way, either for fun or for fighting. How happy I am that it was fun!
Elizabeth and I were in the parade as hula hoop dancers. It was fantastic! Elizabeth had enough lead time to pack one of her many awesome celebrities rainbow-glitter costumes, and she was a real hit! Also very brave given she was fairly new as a hula hooper, but Elizabeth is outgoing and fun-loving so this was right up her alley. As a photogenic super star, there was a picture of her on the metro news site. Hooping-queen Karla brought her whole family along, 3 daughters and husband Jason. Ivy is a 7-year old hoop phenom who used two hoops in the parade and hooped while on her Mom’s shoulders. awesome! There was a photo of Ivy too, and Hula hooping was mentioned as a parade features. Ye-ha!!
This was the 20th anniversary of Saskatoon pride, and the parade set a record for participants. The fabulous sunny weather helped the turnout, even if it did give us a bit of a sunburn on our shoulders.
The parade ended in Victoria park with live music, free (delicious) cake, veggie tacos, and a beer garden. We met up with some of my Saskatoon buddies and also met lots of new people – it turns out hoops are a great conversation starter so I lent mine out to lots of folks to try. Hoop evangelism in action!
We unfortunately missed the backalley antics performance art show, but finished the evening at a dance club for a diva-disco-drag dance party. Fantastic! I did a lot of paddling this week so I was a bit tired and thought we would just stay for a little bit… but it was so fun we ended up shutting it down.