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OUR LAST PRIDE REPORT - Sunshine, crowds in Vancouver Pride
OUR LAST PRIDE REPORT - Sunshine, crowds in Vancouver Pride
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

Dark clouds and damp weather on the days preceding Vancouver Pride weekend had everyone in a slight panic. Would the event be rained out? Would an expected crowd of 400,000 show up on a drizzly, chilly afternoon? Most importantly, will anyone notice my summer tan if I'm forced to wear jeans and a long-sleeved shirt?

Fortunately, the skies parted by mid-Saturday and everyone's spirits zoomed from gloomy to festive. It didn't take long for underwear-clad go-go boys to appear outside Oasis, and no, they weren't using tissue down there. On Saturday night, Pride activities competed head-to-head with the "Celebration of Light," an annual weeklong fireworks competition between the United States, China, and this year's winner, Canada. It was a spectacular light show on English Bay that drew onlookers from all over British Columbia and western Washington State. The parties were in full force after the fireworks, primarily the POWER bash featuring DJ Brett Henrichsen from Los Angeles. Another big dance party was at mixed hangout Club 816 (aka "The World") with DJ Billy Carroll of New York, which didn't start until 2 a.m.

Sunday was bright and warm, not as hot as it was for Seattle Pride but warm enough to wear shorts and T-shirts at 10 a.m. An hour before the start of the parade, throngs of Gay boys wearing colorful beads and leis, and some with straight girl arm-candy, could be seen walking downtown en route to Robson Street, where the event kicked off. While the parade was fun and celebratory, I think Seattle's was just as great or better; somehow, each float in Vancouver became a repeat of the one before it (scantily-dressed men, glittery banners, overly-loud club music, the occasional drag queen). What I enjoyed most was watching the tourists either join in the excitement or stare in complete awe. Overall, the parade attracted a good-sized audience.

The post-parade festival was a bit lackluster, which explains why many bars filled to capacity immediately afterwards. At 5 p.m., my friends and I hopped onboard the CruisyT Go-Go Cruise that departed from the Vancouver Harbor. The cruise was one of two setting sail that evening, the other being the Leather Cruise filled with chaps-wearing queens with moustaches and a particular man dressed as a lumberjack (this frightened me). The cruise was a blast, sailing through the Georgia Strait and along the city outskirts. There was drinking, dancing, cruising (with the eyes), and even some misbehaving in the lower level men's restroom (surprise!). Vancouver Pride weekend came to a close with the booming Global Pride shindig at the Telus World of Science featuring DJ Abel of Miami and porn star Zeb Atlas.

Hundreds of Seattle Gay men and women made the two-hour journey north to celebrate the 30th annual Vancouver Pride, joining others who traveled from as far away as Scotland, Spain, England, and throughout Canada and the United States. I was proud to be part of a small press-media group representing Gay publications based in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, Austin, Washington DC, and London. I hope the information posted on our blog site was of service to you, and thanks to the Metropolitan Hotel for helping Seattle Gay News deliver exclusive coverage of Vancouver Pride 2008. By the way, many Gay boys stayed at the Metropolitan Hotel and showed their buff bodies on the third level pool - it was heaven!

pictures of Pride courtesy or Albert Rodriguez and Art Kuniyuki
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
   
 

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