All week, barbershop owner Glen Clissold has been busy cutting and colouring hair for people who want to put on a good-looking show at the annual Pride Parade in Vancouver’s West End.
On Sunday his customers got a chance to show off their new rainbow haircuts, as an estimated 500,000 people packed into the West End to see the colourful parade that year after year attracts both locals and visitors from around the world.
”We’ve had quite a few people come in to get the pride colours,” said Clissold, the owner of MVP Modern Barbers in the 800-block of Davie Street.
“It has been great for business,” he added of the parade that each year starts at noon at Robson and Thurlow and winds past his shop, down to Pacific and Jervis at Sunset Beach.
Just from parade activities alone, business is up close to 20 per cent, he said.
“We get lots of walk-ins — the streets are packed right now.”
At nearby eatery lickerish, manager Bianca Hayes and the rest of the staff were decked out in the standard, rainbow-bright pride colours. Business was brisk, with thirsty customers trying to get out of the unrelenting midday sun.
“After the parade we get a lot of people,” she said. “This is one of my favourite weekends of the year. Everyone down here is so happy.”
And while the event is a fun-filled mixed bag of floats and street performers, those in attendance highlighted this chance to show their support for Vancouver’s LGBTQ community.
One woman, who was attending the parade with her wife, said she is concerned about people living on the street. “Vancouver is a great city when it comes to supporting the gay community,” she said. “Right now queer homelessness is a huge issue in the city,” said the woman who wouldn’t give her name but did say she is a social worker.
Attendee Jennifer Kaminski, 31, said the parade means a lot to many she works with. “I think Vancouver is one of the best cities in the world for supporting this event,” she said. “It is an important issue and it is nice to see everyone support such a great cause.” Kaminski works in film, she said.
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