CANADA: Vancouver Pride Parade
Vancouver's earliest Pride celebrations began when the Gay Alliance Towards Equality (GATE) organized a picnic and art exhibit in Ceperley Park, and was followed shortly thereafter by the first Pride Parade in 1978. The parade covered only one side of the street while the other remained open to traffic. Over its 34-year history, the Vancouver Pride Parade has grown to be the fifth largest in the world with 650,000 people involved last year, and it’s the biggest annual event in Vancouver.
Events like these are held every summer in nearly every major city in the world both as a celebration of LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning) culture. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. In some countries, some pride parades are now also called Pride Festivals. Some of these festivals provide a carnival-like atmosphere in a nearby park or city-provided closed-off street, with information booths, music concerts, barbecues, beer stands, contests, sports, and games.
I’m from Serbia, and in my country this parade is still struggling with finding its own place in official Serbian events. I don’t think this is a big problem. Why do all countries have to have a Pride parade? Parades are not a part of my country’s culture. We don’t have parades for other important celebrations. The other reason is that the gay community is not strong in Serbia.