Saskatoon's Pride Parade brings cheers, music and colour to downtown on dreary day

Drumming, dancing, Girls Just Want To Have Fun, rainbow umbrellas, rainbow bowties, a rainbow-spotted Dalmatian, the twang of Shania Twain and the rhythm of a fiddle.

Those were the sights and sounds of the 2024 Saskatoon Pride Parade weaving through the city's downtown core.

The first float, opening the parade with drumming and Indigenous singing, embarked west down 24th Street E. just after noon.

"I think it's a beautiful way to start Pride, because two-spirit people have always existed on these lands," said Prestin Thôtin-Awâsis, a Cree and Métis person and part of the 2 Spirits in Motion Society (2SiMS).

Prestin Thôtin-Awâsis, left, walks alongside the leading float in the 2024 Saskatoon Pride Parade.
Prestin Thôtin-Awâsis, left, walks alongside the leading float in the 2024 Saskatoon Pride Parade. (Dayne Patterson/CBC)

The national 2SiMS organization hosted a two-spirit powwow on Friday.

"It was just beautiful to feel that community showed up for us, so this is that same feeling I'm having yesterday as I do today."

Farther down the pack, Saskatoon churches showed support for Pride.

"Pride is an amazing celebration of our community and its diversity," said Rev. Mitchell Anderson from St. Paul's United Church.

"Churches have often been sites of homophobia and transphobia, and so for those churches from many traditions that are committed to inclusion of all people, including queer, trans and two-spirit communities, it's really important for us to be here and be visible and bold."

People a part of the parade floats handed out candies and stickers to people on the roadside.
People handed out candies and stickers to spectators on the roadside. (Dayne Patterson/CBC)

People dressed in bright colours, waving rainbow flags, and some decorated in facepaint lined the streets of the nearly two-kilometre zigzag through Saskatoon's downtown.

That included Melanie Nahachewsky and her family.

"We just are here to celebrate love and want our kids to also celebrate love in whichever forms it comes," she said.

Nahachewsky said she grew up in a privileged and sometimes closed-off space. She doesn't want the same upbringing for her own children, she said.

"The world is a lot bigger than just what they see in their nuclear family."

Sitting on the grassy curb beside her, young Poppy Nahachewsky said she likes to celebrate Pride, because "people are different, and because they're beautiful no matter what."