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.”