By Bruce Holland
In recent years, the Halifax Pride parade is the climax of Pride celebrations in the city, typically attracting over 100,000 people. This year, due to COVID restrictions, the Pride Committee had to modify their plans and cancel the popular parade through downtown Halifax. Most of the celebration events were held at Garrison Grounds and included several performances, and other community events.
Usually, the Atlantic Superstore float and accompanying staff is one of the highlights of the parade, a showcase of their community partnership, with organizations such as FEED Nova Scotia and Hope Booms.
With no parade this year, staff at Atlantic Superstore decided they wanted to do something special to surprise and delight their customers and developed a unique idea to bring their float to the residents of Halifax.
The theme for this year at Atlantic Superstore was, “No Parade – No Problem”. The company developed a mobile Pride parade float, activated by dancing employees, fun dance music, performances, and more. The float was launched at Barrington Street Atlantic Superstore and was a huge hit in the community. Superstore hosted a party atmosphere to celebrate the start of the 2021 Pride Festival, including a live outdoor performance by Elle Noir at the unveiling of the Atlantic Superstore parade float.
During the 10 days of the Pride celebration, the float brought Pride celebrations directly to community members throughout the festival. The float visited a different Atlantic Superstore location every day and shared on social media.
Community partners, such as Hope Blooms, Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency Services, Feed Nova Scotia, and others helped to activate float sites, and customers were treated to ice cream and a free community BBQ.
Atlantic Superstore has been a long-time supporter of Pride, as part of Loblaw’s ongoing commitment to diversity and inclusion. Mark Boudreau, Director of Corporate Affairs for Loblaw said, “The mobile float idea came from a colleague who wanted to find a way to show customers their passion for community. Each year, across the country, our company joins LGBTTQ2SIA+ Canadians and allies in celebrating Pride. It’s a time to have fun, connect with people, and to push for more progress. I am so proud of my colleagues in Halifax for developing the mobile float and showcasing our commitment to community.”