It’s hard to recognize Vancouver during these sultry days of summer. Often described as a “no-fun city”, we are enjoying an explosion of street festivals and other chances to enjoy this urban landscape of ours. After all, there has to be some reason we are all living in tiny but very expensive shoebox housing! This weekend was a great example; with several interesting venues to choose from, I set my sites on the annual Pride parade. Always colourful and often a great way to get a bad sunburn, Pride also offers up the chance to enjoy some tasty street food.
The trans/genderqueer march on Friday night is very old-school Pride. It is little known among outsiders and often doesn’t appear in venue guides, but as less of a parade and much more of a march it offers up a taste of what Pride was like decades ago. This year food not bombs were on the scene handing out free smoothies they were whipping up on their bicycle-powered blender. I need one of those for backyard margaritas.
On Saturday Pride shifts to the East Side for the women’s march, which ends in an excellent festival in Grandview park that draws out large crowds from accross the neighbourhood.Several food carts were on hand for the hungry crowd, including Varinicey Pakoras, which are very much worth trying. The festival was also a great chance to enjoy the renovated park space, which is really very attractive, and enjoys lovely views of the city.
Sunday, is, of course, parade day. Watching the parade can be a big investment of time and energy if one wants a prime seat, and so I was impressed by this groups handy parade-side buffet.
After the parade I headed over to the vendor fair, where a giant crowd was on hand to soak up the sun and enjoy such Vancouver favourites as Dougie Dogs and Those Little Donuts. I do, however, have a question and complaint. The lines for food were so long that it was basically impossible to get any food, and I had to wonder why there weren’t dozens of food carts on hand to offer up a good and proper food cart pod for the thousands of hungry folks wandering around. Maybe next year?
Pride doesn’t appeal to everyone, but if rainbow isn’t your preferred shade the Powell Street festival and the symphony of fire were also on for the weekend. Maybe we aren’t a no fun city after all?