‘It’s heartwarming’: 124th Victoria Day Parade showcases diversity, colourful traditions

'It's heartwarming': 124th Victoria Day Parade showcases diversity, colourful traditions

Robbie Clifford was among the thousands of people who turned out to watch the 124th Thrifty Foods Victoria Day Parade on Monday.

“I moved to Victoria from New Brunswick 64 years ago, and I never missed a parade,” said Clifford.

Victoria Police estimated that about 80,000 parade watchers showed up along the parade route, which started on Douglas Street from Tolmie to Courtney streets.

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A total of 85 floats and about 3,300 registered participants marched along the streets, filling downtown with music and dance.

Pradeep Shrestha, who moved to Victoria from Nepal two years ago, watched the parade for the first time with his family.

“It’s heartwarming, everybody enjoying and sharing love with each other is nice,” said Shrestha.

This year’s parade also featured some marching bands from across the border, including students from Bellevue, Washington.

“We got to school at around 6:15 am and road a two-and-a-half hour bus ride, but we missed our ferry and had to wait another hour and a half to get to Victoria,” says Madeline Zhang.

“It was very exhilarating! For most of us, this is our longest parade that we’ve done all year, so there was some nerves. People watching the parade really enjoyed it,” added Zhang.

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The parade’s largest contingent this year was the group representing the Philippines, with 220 Filipinos showcasing the different cultures of their islands, Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

Another group of lively parade participants representing Peru danced their way through the parade route.

“We have over a hundred people that signed up for this. We are a big community now, we’re 500 people in Victoria so we’re really happy to live here,” said Alberto Callo, director of the Peruvian Association on Vancouver Island.

Rewatch the parade below:

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