Downtown St. John’s was supposed to be buzzing with thousands of people taking part in a celebration of the LGBTQ community on Sunday. Instead, the streets will be quiet…and warm.
St. John’s Pride organizers have made the decision to postpone their annual parade to Saturday afternoon, 24 hours before it begins.
“It becomes a very dangerous point, and all things considered…it just doesn’t seem like it would be safe to do it,” said parade organizer Gorvin Greening, noting that the parade is attended by people of all ages. , from all walks of life. and capabilities. “We didn’t want to make our vulnerable populations even more vulnerable.”
The city is expecting sweltering heat and humidity, with temperatures expected to hit 28 degrees by mid-afternoon and a Humidex around 38 degrees.
St. John’s Pride expected 3,000 people marching in the parade, and at least as many spectators. The route would see the procession pass through downtown St. John’s, where temperatures can be amplified by asphalt and proximity to crowds.
Greening said the Pride committee will meet with city officials on Monday to set a new date, likely in August, but it’s not as simple as just looking at the calendar and picking a new day.
“It’s going to be quite an undertaking, to be perfectly honest,” he said. “I mean, we have our road closure crews, our rescuers, our volunteers. We also have about 120 groups that have to change their schedules as well.”
3rd setback for the Saint-Jean parade
The decision came just hours after organizers of the Tely 10 road race also decided to postpone their scheduled event on Sunday morning due to the heat.
Greening said the cancellation was a wake-up call, as the race was due to start at 8 a.m. – during the coolest part of the day – and the parade was due to start during peak temperatures at 2 p.m.
It was supposed to be a big comeback for St. John’s Pride, after the parade was canceled two years in a row due to the pandemic. Despite a third loss in a row, Greening hopes the fourth time will be the charm.
“We are very lucky that the LGBTQ2S+ community is very supportive. They are very enthusiastic. I have no doubt that we will still have the same energy when we reschedule.”