St. Patricks Day Parade, 19 March 2017
Watching floats, bands, banners, flags, leprechauns, bagpipes, drums, dancers, hurlers, soccer players, dragons, shamrocks, leprechauns, crazy hats, green hats, green everything, but most of all, people.
You better watch out, you better not cry
Better not pout, I’m telling you why
Santa Claus is comin’ to town
… and he arrived on Saturday amidst the gusty winds and light snow. Winter arrived on the same day!
Before the parade there was the Holly Jolly Fun Race, a 5 km race along the Santa Claus parade route.
#TOsanta | #TOsantaparade
Many people walked and danced, clapped and chanted, as they paraded down Yonge Street on Saturday to start the annual Festival of India weekend.
The parade is similar to an annual procession (Ratha Yatra) that has occurred for centuries in the city of Puri, India as part of a Hindu festival associated with the god Jagannath. Here in Toronto, as in Puri, three chariots constructed to look like temples are pulled through the streets in a procession from one temple to another. Each chariot carries a richly decorated representation of a god, first is Jagannatha (another name for Krishna or God) and then his brother Baladeva and his sister Subhadra. The chariots are pulled by people and the procession symbolizes the pulling of the Lord into our hearts.
In Puri, this Ratha-Yatra procession continues to attract over a million people every year. In Toronto, the numbers aren’t quite that high!
Or rather, pre-Pride parade. The parade route is usually very crowded and this year I decided not walk it. Instead, I mingled with the parade participants who gathered on Bloor Street in preparation for the event. What you’ll find in this blog posts are a lot of pictures of people, people laughing and smiling and enjoying the day. I hope I have captured some of the energy and spirit of the occasion.
below: A temporary rainbow LOVE sign
below: These boots are made for walking, but that bike sure looks great!
below: Apparently, wearing large amounts of feathers on your back is quite warm. Not so good on a hot day!
below: The solution – water of course. Super soakers and the spraying of water is a big part of the pride parade.
below: The three coloured Transgender Pride flag – the stereotype colours of light blue for baby boys and light pink for baby girls with a white stripe in the middle for those who identify as neither.
below: #ShareLove wash the hashtag used by Telus and the people on their float. I love the glitter and the purple hearts!
below: Puppets from Kids Help Phone Line make an appearance at the parade with a little help from some friends. The one T-shirt reads “Tell us about your #firstpride”
below: Well, what can I say? It’s Pride.
below: Nonchalantly blowing bubbles. Someone looks unimpressed.
below: I managed to find the saddest person on Bloor Street.
below: Thanks to these two women who showed off their T-shirts for the camera. #ProudBecause was Fido’s campaign for Pride. Each person on the team had a T-shirt like this, and each person had filled in the white rectangles with their personal messages.
below: Spectators waiting. One is keeping cool.
below: The Liberals had a large presence, most of them in red T-shirts. They congregated on Asquith Green early on and there were many in the staging area on Bloor Street. As the world knows, Justin Trudeau walked in the parade with Toronto Mayor John Tory and Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne. As an aside, I may be the only person who didn’t get a photo of Trudeau!
When the parade started, I left Bloor Street, heading south on Ted Rogers Way then back towards the Hayden Street entrance to Bloor subway station. Somewhere along that route (and I can’t remember exactly where) I saw a small group of PC/Tories with their signs walking towards the parade.
below: Tomodachi is Japanese for ‘friends’.
below: The Federation of Canadian Naturists were also walking in the parade.
The Trans Rally and March, first of the Pride parades was last night (Friday).
below: If you were driving on Yonge street last night, perhaps you got stuck in traffic. Northbound cars on Yonge were stopped to allow the parade to cross from Bloor to Yonge. The parade continued in the southbound lanes which gave the stuck drivers and passengers a front row seat.
Last year it rained for the Trans March and in previous years the turn out was low. Whether it is because trans issues have been in the news a lot lately, or because the trans community is more visible, or because of other reasons, there were more people walking than usual.
below: Dave holding ‘Pulse’ a memorial artwork in honour of those who died at the Pulse nightclub Orlando. The piece was crocheted by Dave and the Craft Action Collective.
#loveislove | #lovealwayswins