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The Parade In Focus

A closer look at our entry and how it's coming together.!

The Layout

Our entry consists of a few moving parts and limited space to work within. Currently, we are allotted 35' of space in the Parade. This space allows us up to 25 Marchers and 1 EV Vehicle Entry

The width of an average street lane is approximately 10' wide. The Parade route varies on available lane width but is restricted to a width of 2 lanes or a total of 20' wide at two different points on this new route. 

To be clear these are the sizes of our moving parts thus far.

  • Vehicle Entry takes up approximately 6' x 15'

  • Shade tents are measured at 5' x 15' 

  • Inflatable atop the vehicle is 6.5' in diameter 

Together the total width of our entry is approximately 16' wide assuming all parts are touching. Providing a 2' clearance between the vehicle and marchers would max out the available space in the narrowest portions of the Parade route. 

Unknown yet are the vertical clearance restrictions that may be in place along the route. 

20  Feet Wide

35 Feet long

20  Feet Wide

35 Feet long

20  Feet Wide

50 Feet long

20  Feet Wide

50 Feet long

A request has been made for additional space given we are now joining forces with the English Bay Swim Club for 2023. Ideally, we can score an additional 15 feet. This extra space would allow our marchers to spread out a bit before or behind our entry. Alternatively, the canopies could occupy space ahead and behind the vehicle forming 10' x 15' banners and giving room for marchers to occupy space beside the vehicle.

 

It's yet to be seen whether we actually require additional space as most of our entry is collapsible and the 35-foot allotment is specified as a single-lane stationary determination. We could occupy 35 feet in the staging area and then spread out while in motion along the parade route. 

Numbers & Roles

Our Parade entry allows for 1 vehicle and 25 marchers. At a minimum, our entry requires 14 participants. 

  • 1 Driver

  • 4 Wheel Guards

  • 8 Flagbearers

  • 1 Cyclist

The 2023 Parade Entry Terms and Conditions state that Wheel Guards are required by the Vancouver Pride Society for all motor vehicles. "Vehicles and float entries must have an escort (wheel guard) beside each wheel along the entire Parade route to ensure safe operations. Vehicle escorts may not ride in or on the vehicle."

 

This does not specify whether we can rotate wheel guards every 10 minutes or so allowing members to change their placement and partake in different elements of the entry such as dancing or utilizing the shade canopies. 

Minimum Participation Layout

20  Feet Wide

35 Feet long

We don't yet have the final numbers for our own members with a rough estimate being around 20+ members who have expressed interest. This does not include the English Bay Swim Club membership and we are currently waiting on feedback from their leadership about their plans for the Parade and if they'll want to organize themselves differently. 

With the maximum level of participation, we could see the entry headed by our cyclist followed by our own photographer of the event, and a large marching contingent behind.  

Entry With Maximum of 25 Marchers

20  Feet Wide

50 Feet long

The goal of our entry is to make it as hassle-free as possible. We simply do not have the luxury or space to put together anything elaborate with the cost and time restrictions. The Terms and Conditions state "Except for minor finishing touches, vehicles may not be constructed or decorated in the staging area." It is not specified what is considered a "finishing touch" but our use of inflatables could pose a problem given we will not be able to arrive at the staging area with them pre-inflated.

 

Similarly, it is stated "Parade Entries are required to dismantle and disperse in the Dispersal Area within 10 minutes of arrival to this area" Despite there being a significantly greater dispersal area this year according to the maps. These are incredibly restrictive regulations and will be challenging to manage the day of. We will require all hands on deck to help deflate and store the components of our entry before we are summarily evicted from the dispersal area. 

Setup & Teardown

Our goal at the end of the Parade will not be a clean and complete deconstruction but rather getting things to a state which allows us to depart without damaging materials. Proper storage and deconstruction will take place off-site. We will also need to ensure that valuables are collected prior to the departure of the vehicle. 

Safety & Comfort

One of the most important aspects of our entry will be the safety and comfort of our participants. Marchers will be invited to store valuables, clothing, water, & sunscreen in the back of the vehicle. A first-aid kit will be carried in the back of the vehicle as well should we need it for any reason. 

Themed shade canopies will be carried down with a rotation of responsible carriers managing them for the hour-long march. These canopies will provide some respite from the sun for those walking down the route. 

Heckling from disgruntled members of the public does occasionally occur along the parade route, as does dousing Parade Participants in water.  We're used to the latter, and I anticipate the former will be minimized by the loud music from our entry. We'll consult with the Pride Society for details on how they will help manage these issues. 

We are allowing Pets to join us along the route! The Terms and Conditions state "Animals must be on a leash or otherwise restrained and must be cleaned up after. Handlers must ensure that animals are properly cared for during the event, especially in the case of extreme heat. See https://spca.bc.ca/news/hot-paws-in-the-city/ for care tips."

 

Please remember that this is just over an hour-long route and while there are areas that are shaded the pavement may be uncomfortable for your pet. There will be large crowds, and loud music so be sure that your pet is comfortable with these stimuli. Placement may be best central towards the back of the entry where your pet will be further from the speakers and crowds. If possible walk beneath one of the shade canopies.  

Pets Along the Route

Staying Green-ish

The Vancouver Pride Society is going green with a huge push to reduce the number of floats, single-use plastics, and fossil fuel-based vehicles starting in 2023. 

 

To align with these goals our entry is using reusable plastics and environmentally friendly alternatives. The main plastics we'll be using will be PVC (polyvinyl chloride), Polyester, and Nylon. These plastics are present in our inflatable elements (PVC), suits (PBT Polyester), and shade canopies (Polyester Satin and Nylon Organza). We recognize that all plastics are harmful to the environment and specifically fabric-based plastics which are responsible for microplastic particles in our world's oceans. Natural alternatives unfortunately can cost over 2500x greater than their synthetic counterparts and are beyond our ability to afford as a small organization. 

We'll continue to do our best to invest in decorations and materials that can be reused and repurposed to avoid parts ending up in landfills. A full inventory of our materials and costs will be maintained. 

Current Cost estimates put our entry at around $800 in total. 

Entry & Membership                $172

Inflatable Water Polo Ball      $269

Magnetic Decals                         $74

Rental Speakers                         $100

Sunscreen                                     $

Wave Canopies                           $69

Bubble Machine                         $45

Total                                                 $729

Cost & Budget

I had budgeted around $500 for this entry. Costs got a little out of control due to the high cost of the speaker rental and the addition of the Shade Canopies to the budget.  Even without those two additions, we would still be over budget by about $60 currently. 

I dread to say we're not done yet either as the Satin fabric will still need to be dyed, bamboo rods acquired (dollar store), and PVC decorations for the Canopies included.

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