Coronavirus: Saskatoon Pride parade moves online

Spectators lined the streets of Saskatoon for last year's Pride parade. File / Global News

Saskatoon Pride isn’t going to let a pandemic rain on its parade.

In light of COVID-19, the organization is hosting the 29th annual Pride parade online on June 20.

“We’re telling people to take to their screens, not to the streets,” Saskatoon Pride co-chair Mike McCoy told Global News.

The organization is asking community members, groups, businesses and performers to submit video clips showcasing their LGBTQ2 pride.

The clips will be part of a live virtual parade, potentially hosted on Facebook, McCoy said.

“We hope people will shoot their video — obviously, properly physically distanced and so on — but in … quirky and popular places in the city,” he said.

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“It obviously won’t replicate being on the street. But it does have one advantage, which is it’ll probably be the first year that we actually won’t mind if it rains on parade day.”

Other events will be hosted online gearing up to the parade, including drag bingo and a two-spirit ball.

Organizers wanted to find an alternative to the traditional Pride events to maintain a sense of community, McCoy said.

 “At the best of times, people in the queer community … can feel isolated,” he said.

“Now more than ever in this particular time, there is a real urgent need for connection in the community. Pride is one of the ways that people connect and so we’re not going to be deterred from doing that.”

Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:

Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.

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To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. They also recommend minimizing contact with others, staying home as much as possible and maintaining a distance of two metres from other people if you go out.

For full COVID-19 coverage from Global News, click here.

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