Saskatoon

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

The 2024 Saskatoon Pride Parade zigzagged through the city's downtown to celebrate the 2SLGBTQ+ community during Pride Month.

Leading parade float piloted by group representing two-spirit community

A Métis and pride flag with floats and people in the background
The Saskatoon Pride Parade began on Saturday at noon, with hundreds of people lining the streets of the downtown and dozens of floats rolling along to cheers and music. (Dayne Patterson/CBC)

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).

A man in a red t-shirt waves a pride flag alongside others sitting on a float covered in colourful decorations and balloons
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."

Host Theresa Kliem speaks with Angelina Perea and Jordy Ironstar, both with the 2 Spirits In Motion Society.

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 on a float with the words "all are welcome here" on the side moving through the parade route
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."

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dayne Patterson is a reporter for CBC News in Saskatchewan and is based in Saskatoon. He has a master's degree in journalism with an interest in data reporting and Indigenous affairs. Reach him at dayne.patterson@cbc.ca.