Saskatoon Mayor Charlie Clark will serve as grand marshal of the 2017 Pride parade this summer.
Clark confirmed it during an update at Monday’s governance and priorities committee meeting.
Pride Festival Co-Chair Danny Papadatos told 650 CKOM Clark is the first Saskatoon mayor to march in the parade.
“We’re over-the-moon excited,” Papadatos said.
He noted it’s a significant change from former mayor Don Atchison, who faced criticism over the decision to not march in the parade during his tenure.
“It just wasn’t a priority for [Atchison],” Papadatos said, adding Clark has marched in the parade as a councillor before.
Papadatos said the mayor’s participation will be welcomed and could mark a step forward for the city’s LGBTQ community.
“Feeling that support and knowing the city is behind you is that comfort feeling we might have been missing,” he said, adding it could convince members of the community to stay in Saskatoon.
The Pride Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary in Saskatoon this year, with a variety of events throughout June.
The parade is set for June 24.