This article was published on November 29th, 2014
A parade, is a parade, is a parade, right? Pretty much. Each year, Vancouver plays host to the largest outdoor parade in Western Canada, the Vancouver gay pride parade. This year it was Vancouver’s turn to play host to the Grey Cup parade. While these may seem to be very different events, in fact, they have a lot of things in common.
1. Celebrating Pride:While the Vancouver gay pride parade is celebrating diversity and equal rights of all Canadians, the Grey Cup parade celebrates the pride all Canadians have for the largest annual sporting event in Canada, and all the Canadian CFL teams.
2. Everyone cheers for their favourite team: Everyone has a team they prefer.
3. Over-the-top outfits: From drag queens to short shorts, face paint to creative team costumes, everyone gets into the spirit to show their pride. A lot of time, thought and effort goes into these outfits, right down to the smallest detail.
4. Rainbow of colour: The more colour, the better. Everyone wants to show off their pride by wearing the brightest colours of the team their cheer for.
5. Hangovers: It’s hard to say who can drink more, a Grey Cup fan or a the gays. One thing is for sure, when it comes to parade day, they will be hung-over from partying and celebrating the night before.
6. Everyone is welcome: No matter what your age, race, belief, or team you root for, everyone is welcome and encouraged to come out and celebrate the activities.
7. Police escorts: Every parade needs to start off with a police escort to ge the party started!
8. Uniforms: Yes, there will be men and women in uniform. Enough said!
9. Culture: From First Nations to minority groups, it’s important to have representation from all communities. Showcasing inclusion is an important part of every parade.
10. There will be song and dance: From pipe bands to top 40 music, there will be music blasting from almost every parade entry. People will be singing and dancing in the streets as they get into the festivities.
11. Grand Marshal: A parade wouldn’t be a parade without a Grand Marshal!
13. The parade is just the start: Whether you’re at the Vancouver gay pride parade or the Grey Cup parade, there are still so many other activities to participate in, from the street festivals to parties in the local bars, to mingling in the streets.
14. Traditions should never be messed with: Everyone has their own annual traditions. From who they go to the parade with, to the location they watch the parade from. If you do it one year, you do it every year onward, for good luck, or course!
15. There’s always at least one flamer in the crowd: While there might be a few more flamers at the Vancouver gay pride parade, it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist at the Grey Cup parade too.
16. It’s a celebration: No matter what team you cheer for, everyone is here for a good time. You will undoubtedly make new friends, learn some new facts about other teams, and might find yourself curious to learn more about a team you aren’t on.