KAMLOOPS - Upwards of 1,000 people marched downtown in Kamloops' first Pride Parade this past weekend and organizers hope it's just the beginning.
Kamloops Pride president Kirstin McLaughlin says the Pride Weekend showed how welcoming Kamloops is to the LGBTQ2S+ community.
"It was amazing, it was absolutely amazing," McLaughlin says.
She estimates upwards of 1,000 people marched in the City's first Pride Parade which was held this past Sunday, Aug. 20, not to mention the spectators who lined up to watch.
McLaughlin says they have been flooded with positive feedback after the parade. She spoke about a lesbian couple who is new to Kamloops and became emotional seeing the support the parade had from locals.
There was also a baby in the crowd wearing a shirt that said My First Pride Parade," McLaughlin says.
"As a board, we didn’t really know what to expect," she says. "It hasn’t been done before."
Although it's too soon for concrete plans to be set for a parade next year, McLaughlin says she's hopeful after the large turnout they saw this year, including politicians, church-goers, and people from all walks of life.
It also brings McLaughlin to another point of dropping stereotypes about different kinds of people. She says the Kamloops United Church has been a strong supporter of the LGBTQ2S+ community.
Kamloops United Church member Chris Dolson posted a letter on the church's website after the parade, thanking the 22 church members who either marched in the parade or monitored the booth at Riverside Park.
McLaughlin was amazed at the turnout and support for the weekend, and says if the parade continues next year she hopes it will be even bigger and better.
"It was just a really beautiful weekend," she says.
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