Metro/Jane Caulfield A festival go-er participates in last year's Pride Parade. This year's parade will take place on June 15.

This year’s Saskatoon Pride Festival will likely be the largest pride event the province of Saskatchewan has ever seen.

According to Brice Field, chair of the Saskatoon Diversity Network, the non-profit organization who holds the Pride Festival, organizers are expecting more than 15,000 people to participate in the eight-day event running from June 8 until June 15.

Alongside showing support for Saskatoon’s LGBTT* community, Field noted the festival will benefit the entire city, as the festival itself has become an economic boon.

“With it growing so fast, it’s a great way for the community to showcase queer art and culture to the general population of Saskatchewan,” said Field. “And as it’s growing bigger, the Pride Festival is really starting to benefit the whole city of Saskatoon with the economic impact that we bring in.”

“We have people coming in from all over western Canada for this,” he explained.

When asked how he feels about the Pride Festival’s rising popularity, he said it makes all the hard work involved with organizing a lot easier.

“It’s been good, the Pride Festival is run 100 per cent on volunteers. There’s nobody on staff, so we have a board of directors of seven that puts this on and we spend 10 months of the year, a lot of time outside of our regular paying jobs, putting this on,” said Field. “The things that makes it worthwhile is the fact that it is growing.”

This year will also be the first time the Pride Festival’s free Community Fair runs more than a single day, as now festival-goers will be able to enjoy live music on both the Friday night from 4 p.m. until 10 p.m. and on Saturday 12 p.m. until 6 p.m.

For a full list of Pride Festival events visit: saskatoonpride.ca

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