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Drag Ball Game, Big Gay Dog Walk kick off Victoria Pride Week

Victoria Pride Week kicks off Monday with The Memorial Drag Ball Game at Vic West Park.
A dog wears a rainbow costume during the Pride Parade in Victoria on June 26, 2022. TIMES COLONIST

The Victoria Pride Society is heading into the Canada Day long weekend with one of its signature events serving as the official kick-off to Victoria Pride Week.

The busy stretch of events — which culminates with the Pride Parade and Festival next weekend — gets underway with the Memorial Drag Ball Game, the first of five happenings staged by the society to celebrate Greater Victoria’s gender, sexuality, and/or relationship diverse (GSRD) community. The popular softball game, staged annually since 1994, takes place Monday, July 1, at Vic West Park. One of the largest parks in the city, the space located at 155 Wilson St. will feature teams competing in a friendly contest from noon until 3 p.m. The event is free to attend and is open to the public.

The Big Gay Dog Walk gets underway Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. The well-trafficked event takes place in Banfield Park in Vic West, a new location for 2024. The day includes a dog costume contest and dog trick competition, followed by a stroll along the Gorge Waterway. Food trucks and vendors will be set up in Banfield Park, along with a special memorial area where attendees and dog owners can commemorate their departed pets.

The two-hour event is family-friendly and free to attend. 

Victoria Pride Week continues deep into next week, with Pride in the Word set for July 5 at the Victoria Conference Centre (720 Douglas St.). The two tentpole events, the Victoria Pride Parade, which starts from the corner of Douglas and Fisgard Streets, and the Festival in the Park, which is set for McDonald Park in James Bay, will both take place July 7.

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