Come Sunday, Nanaimo’s Front Street drivers may see a lot of rainbow flags in the bike lane.
The Pride Walk and Roll — open to anyone with a bike or who wants to walk or jog along — will be grouping up by the Thrifty Food’s parking lot at 11:30 am. They’ll start the route at 12pm, and will end at Maffeo Sutton park.
Walk and Roll organizer James Chamberlain says he discussed the event with city hall and it’ll be confined to the bicycle lanes.
“I’m just hoping that there’s a good turnout of people and respect how many people show up,” said Chamberlain. “Hopefully people will dress in their pride colors and finery, decorate their bikes, and will roll along and have a good time.”
Chamberlain says the event will animate the streetscape, and is a casual event. He says he was inspired by Pride parades in other cities, but disliked how Pride has become increasingly more corporate.
“I lived in Vancouver for over 30 years and I saw Pride parades become very corporate over the decades. They kind of lost their grass roots, kind of hometown feel if you want to call it that, and I knew that there was nothing organized this year in terms of the Pride parade so I wanted to try something different. So we’re calling it Nanaimo’s first ‘un-parade.’ By un-parade we mean no vehicles or floats or corporate stuff. Just people walking and rolling and having a good time.”
Chamberlain asked Hub City Cycles for a sponsorship, and says the bicycle shop has put an invitation to join out to their membership.
Just yesterday, a LGBT+ flag was raised at City Hall to commemorate the month.