Inaugural Kincardine Pride Parade exceeds expectations


By Barb McKay

It was a day that will go down in history. To say the inaugural Kincardine Pride Parade was a success would be an understatement.

Travis Brown, 3, had a great time blowing bubbles in Victoria Park following the inaugural Pride Parade. For a full page of colour photos, don't miss this week's print edition of The Kincardine Independent. (Barb McKay photo)


Kincardine Pride founder Fort Papalia was overcome with emotion as he and co-founder Sandy Blackwood led the first annual parade down Queen Street on Saturday morning. He waved to the crowds of spectators as he passed them, thanking everyone for coming out in support of the local LGBTQ community.

“I’m speechless,” Papalia said after the parade ended in Victoria Park. “We are overwhelmed, just over the moon.”

“This is Kincardine community day – this is your day,” he told the crowd that followed the parade into the park. “You did this, so thank you. I am so proud that Kincardine is my hometown.”

More than one thousand people lined the streets from where the parade began at Connaught Park, up Broadway Street and down Queen Street. Kincardine Pride committee member Terry-Ann Smith said approximately 150 people walked in the parade. They included local schools, businesses, churches, community groups, politicians and visitors from Toronto, Goderich and Sarnia. Goderich Mayor Kevin Morrison and Brockton Mayor David Inglis joined Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie who walked behind the Pride committee and greeted spectators.

This speaks volumes to the need for this,” Smith said of the turnout. “It’s fantastic to celebrate us and celebrate them. I’m tickled pink.”

Smith and Papalia said initially they thought it might just be the committee’s five members, including Krista Holtby and Jacqueline Faubert, marching down the main street. The result was better than they could have imagined. And, despite threats of protests, only supporters turned out for the family-friendly event. There was also a strong police presence but officers wore colourful leis and handed out stickers to children and the crowd and chatted with visitors in the park.

Following the parade, the Kincardine Pride committee hosted a barbeque, live music and children’s activities.