A rare blue sky day and summerlike temperatures shone on the Queer Pride Parade in Langley Saturday, bringing out supporters, spectators, flags and fairy dust. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

A rare blue sky day and summerlike temperatures shone on the Queer Pride Parade in Langley Saturday, bringing out supporters, spectators, flags and fairy dust. Photo by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Pride without prejudice

Rainbow skies celebrate annual showing of diversity

Rainbows flourished under clear blue skies Saturday during Langley’s 5th Annual Queer Pride Parade.

The brightly-colored procession lasted only nine minutes, one spectator joked, but that was longer than the year before.

Churches, nonprofit organizations, businesses, youth groups and many others turned the streets into mosaics of colors and spirited fun displaying a variety of messages in the name of equal rights for all.

“Lettuce Celebrate Equality” and “Fruits Come in all Colors and Tastes” read signs held by supporters of food bank Good Cheer.

The Hub, a youth and after-school program, created an arced rainbow out of hundreds of balloons that grew somewhat tipsy in the wind.

“There’s a lot of people that can’t accept us,” said Jason Vanvorst, 14, marching with the Hub. “To see everyone happy and celebrating is so great. We come here for all of us.”

Sandra Samaras came from Oak Harbor with her husband and four children to see the parade for the first time.

“I believe in equal rights for everyone,” she said. “As a woman of color, I thought it was important to come out. Love is love.”

Friends Jill Hershberger, 72, and Melahn Murphy, 73, rode in the decorated truck of St. Augustine’s-in-the-Woods Episcopal Church.

They said they’d come to understand the need to stand up for the LGBTQ community and not be the “huge silent people in the middle” of supporters and detractors.

Parade organizer and transgender activist Skye Newkirk walked with friends as the Whidbey Island Roller Girls weaved in and out of marchers.

Wearing a black T-shirt with the word “Beyouthiful” in rainbow colors, Charlee Corra made her first visit to Whidbey Island, driving from Marblemount.

“I wanted to support my friend Skye and celebrate pride,” Corra said. “I had a blast. I danced the entire time.”

Participants with food bank Good Cheer marched with some clever, farm fresh messages. Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Participants with food bank Good Cheer marched with some clever, farm fresh messages. Photos by Patricia Guthrie/Whidbey News Group

Parade organizer Skye Newkirk encourages people to keep cheering and dancing toward the end of the fifth annual Queer Pride Parade.

Parade organizer Skye Newkirk encourages people to keep cheering and dancing toward the end of the fifth annual Queer Pride Parade.

Langley’ s youth and after-school program, The Hub, created the biggest rainbow for the parade and sported one of the largest marching contingents.

Langley’ s youth and after-school program, The Hub, created the biggest rainbow for the parade and sported one of the largest marching contingents.

Friends Jill Hershberger and Melahn Murphy rode in the decorated truck of St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church.

Friends Jill Hershberger and Melahn Murphy rode in the decorated truck of St. Augustine’s in-the-Woods Episcopal Church.

Even a horse of a different color — or two — joined the joyous procession down Cascade Avenue.

Even a horse of a different color — or two — joined the joyous procession down Cascade Avenue.

Members of Freeland’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island carry a banner expressing their sentiment about acceptance.

Members of Freeland’s Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Whidbey Island carry a banner expressing their sentiment about acceptance.

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