Shades and good spirits were the only mandatory requirements for attending the 27th annual Pride Parade today.
Droves of colourful personalities, fantastical floats and decorated dogs marched down Memorial Boulevard and wound around the streets of downtown Winnipeg, effectively conquering seven blocks of traffic before returning to their starting point at the Manitoba Legislature.
Pride Winnipeg’s parade and rally director, Ryan Zacharias, estimated at least 10,000 people came out to show their support for Winnipeg’s LGBTQ* community.
In 1987, 250 people attended the first-ever Pride Parade in Winnipeg.
"There was no space in any of the medians or along the sidewalks, it was completely packed with people. It was amazing," said Zacharias.
Many little ones were on hand to celebrate too, including eight-month-old Hadley Harding, who hung out in a bright pink baby carrier and a bucket hat from her father’s neck.
"It’s her first Pride and my 21st Pride," said dad, Garry, who was beaming while holding hands with husband, Jason Hamilton.
Another first-time parade-goer, Mistee McLean, said she came to Pride to celebrate the LGBTQ* community and her bisexuality.
"We’re all entitled to our rights and freedoms of speech, so why not support happiness?"
The Pride Winnipeg festivities wrap up today with a festival at The Forks and an after-party at the Metropolitan Event Centre.