Last updated: 06:00 PM ET, Thu June 30 2016

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  • Art Kramer | June 30, 2016 6:00 PM ET

    Victoria Pride Guide 2016

    Victoria Pride Guide 2016

    PHOTO: Even your pets can get involved in Victoria Pride Week at the Big Gay Dog Walk (Courtesy Clipper Vacations)

    An event with 30,000 people clapping, dancing, laughing and smiling in celebration of community and equality? All with a flare of bright colors and joy?? Sign us up.

    This year’s Victoria Pride festival (July 1 – 10) promises a loud and proud roster of LGBTQ-centered festivities that will get anyone jumping for joy. March along in the parade with people dressed in exotic costumes and feel the exuberant atmosphere. See the rainbow colored banners and flags fluttering in the breeze. Take advantage of the rockin’ lineup, from a drag baseball game and sunset cruise around Victoria’s inner harbor to Canada’s largest LGBTQ literary event and wild parties.

    One sure bet: however you choose to celebrate this Victoria Pride week, we at Clipper Vacations are confident you’ll find something just your speed. Jump on the Clipper and let us transport you to Victoria and guide you to a week of fun, friends and fabulousness.

    Fuel up before heading out on your Pride adventure at Victoria’s newest food truck, Songhees Seafood and Steam. Treat your taste buds to something new and unique with a modern take on Songhees cultural cuisine. You’ll be licking your fingers after sampling a delicious bison burger or traditional bannock bread with house-made blackberry preserve.

    Attending the Pride Brunch Buffet at the Reef Restaurant is another must if you are looking for adventurous eats. A win-win situation, you get to taste outstanding food and the proceeds go toward Victoria Pride. Feast on dishes such as jerk salmon, eggs Benedict with crab, and huevos rancheros, and you sip on electric drinks.

    Kick off your weekend of fun in the sun on Friday with drag queens, drag kings and baseball at the annual Memorial Drag Ball Game at Vic Park. Deck yourself out in your best drag and knock a home run out of the park or lay out in the sun, snack on a picnic lunch and watch the ball game. On Sunday, strut your stuff with your favorite pooch at the Big Gay Dog Walk. Mingle with your four-legged friends, bring treats, play games and show off your pup’s style.

    Take the party to the street for the week’s main event on July 10th, the Victoria Pride Parade. Dress up in your brightest wig, dazzling costume, feather boa and bling, and join hundreds of vibrant floats and your new-found friends on a fun-filled march through town. After the parade, follow the masses to MacDonald Park for the colorful Pride Festival. Have a sudsy pint or two in the beer garden, grab a bite at the food court, check out the entertainment and stop by the newly added politically-oriented Queer Town.

    Relax from your busy day of festival-going with a sunset cruise around Victoria’s harbor. Sail away, sip cocktails, chat with friends and soak in the rosy hues as the sun goes down on the harbor.

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    If the arts are your jam, inspiring performances and glitzy shows will leave you captivated throughout the festival. The moving dance recital, Sean Dorsey’s The Missing Generation, gives a voice to the survivors of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s. Furthermore, the literary event, Pride in the Word, exposes you to thought-provoking readings from LGBTQ writers from Victoria and all across Canada, including Jillian Christmas, Erin Cotton, Heather Gold and more.

    For a razzle-dazzle performance, sit back and enjoy the Sugar Nightclub Fashion Show. Here, new trends in clothing are modeled by beautiful people of all shapes, sizes and identities. Continue the excitement and pull up a seat at the House of Gabor for Paparazzi Pride for high-energy drag performances by local BC artists.

    Soak up some rays and bust a move at the Wicked Wench Party Under the Sun held on the Strathcona rooftop patio. Have some fun on the dance floor or hammer spikes over the net at the venue’s volleyball courts.

    Keep the beach vibes going and grab your favorite tank, speedo or board shorts and make your way to Victoria’s Beach Party 2016, the largest LGBTQ dance party of the year. Dance the night away at Sugar NightClub as two DJs spin the hottest tunes.

    After a long day chock full of activities, the boutique, urban Oswego Hotel makes for the perfect Pride crash pad. Unwind in the beautifully designed suites and take advantage of the TAG approved hotel’s in-room spa services while absorbing sweeping ocean views.

    Situated on Victoria’s picturesque Inner Harbour, the newly renovated and TAG endorsed Delta Victoria Pointe Resort and Spa is another favorite hotel of ours. With an indoor swimming pool, spa, 24-hour health club, tennis courts and exceptional dining options, you may never want to return home.

    With thought-provoking performances, vibrant parade and endless opportunities to make new friends, the Victoria Pride festival has so much to offer. Show off your colors and spread the love in good company this year.

    Get 10 percent off your trip when you use promo code: VICPRIDE16 with when booking online or by phone (out of state: 1-800-888-2535, or local: 206-448-5000) to receive 10 percent off on travel between July 6-11, 2016. Discount is applied at the end of the booking process. Discount does not apply to web specials, sales and/or already discounted fares and packages.

    This blog originally appeared on Clipper Vacations’ website.


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Art Kramer Clipper Vacations

Art is a veteran travel writer.
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