Thousands gathered for Vancouver’s annual Pride Parade Sunday, lining the streets of Pacific Boulevard.
It wasn’t the typical gathering place for spectators this year, with changes to the downtown route.
This year the parade started at Davie and Denman streets, continuing along Pacific and finishing in Yaletown.
Last year, the parade started on Robson Street, went down Denman and finished near English Bay.
The new route was nearly a kilometer longer, something Marjorie Espinoza says was “too much.”
She has been going to the parade for more than five years. But this year’s changes were disappointing, she said.
“By the time we got there my legs were really sore, we were pushing the stroller, we were holding our kid,” she said “There were also these big lines and security gates to get into the festival, it was just too much.”
“By the time we got there we were really hungry because there were not many restaurants in the area,” she said.
Restaurants on Denman who used to count on parade crowds this weekend say they saw less customers than normal.
“I hope they know that it does affect businesses who look forward to this every year,” said Carla Sorrentino, the manager at Delany’s Coffee.
“The afternoon traffic was not as busy as it was generally in prior years so it did affect (the) number of customers this year,” Sorrentino added. “We would have expected more.”
Other businesses in the area told CTV News they were down nearly 20 per cent in sales.
CTV News tried multiple times to reach parade organizers Monday, but did not get a response.
According to the Vancouver Pride Society website, the change was made because “it’s closer to key transportation options, making it easier for people to attend from all over the Lower Mainland.”
The website also says the new route was aimed at making the parade more accessible, with fewer hills, more shade and wider sidewalks.
Other changes spectators may have noticed were fewer floats.
Vancouver Pride’s website says they have shifting away from motorized floats and are moving towards a greener event.