Twitter and other social media are great at connecting the world and spreading the ‘word’ but how many of you come out from behind your keyboard to meet other social media users?
Recently my friend Brian and I had a small Tweet-up (Twitter/Tweep meet-up) at Rogue Kitchen & Wetbar. None of us had been to Rogue Wetbar before either and I’d selected the location because they were very active on Twitter, so we could consider the venue a Tweep too.
Have a casual get together that allows people to interact on a different level and with sentences longer than 140 characters. It gives us a deeper look into our ‘real’ personalities vs the witty, pithy, attention seeking people we are online. I’ve had a few other Tweet-ups to try to get to know the people behind the avatar, you already know you have similar interests, so get out and meet them, who knows who you’ll find. Brian and I started off as Tweeps, met up and as a result I know consider him among my closest friends. I challenge you to turn your Tweeps into Peeps and get out and get to know some of those people you follow, friend or chat with online. You might be surprised to discover brand new lasting friendships!
Dancing Elvis’, Lumberjacks, SuperDogs, Red Robinson, Giant Inflatables…these are not your typical entries in a Vancouver Parade but this was not just any parade.
In honour of it’s 100th Anniversary, the Fair At The PNE revived a lost summer time tradition…the PNE Parade. Held annually until 1995 the PNE Parade was the kick off to the Fair and highlighted one of the last major events of the season (the Fair runs the last half of August, closing on Labour Day). Led off by the indomitable Bandleader Dal Richards as Grand Marshall, this 100th Anniversary revival celebrated all the achievements, entertainment and traditions associated with the last 10 decades of the Pacific National Exhibition; including – Iconic concerts; Elvis in 1957 and The Beatles in 1964, hosted by radio legend Red Robinson. – Sports; BC Lions & Vancouver Whitecaps at Empire Stadium, Vancouver Canucks at Pacific Coliseum; – Exhibits: Horse Shows, 4H competitions, Logger Sports, Monster Trucks – Playland: Carnival Games, Fair Food – Multiculturalism: Chinese Dragon and Bollywood Dancers
Most of all it seemed like this parade featured memories, you could see and hear from the older members of the audience as they mentioned past events and family trips to the Fair. Also, from the next generations as they visit with their children and form new memories that will last for the next century of The PNE/Playland
The day started out under cloudy skies as the masses, some 600,000+ strong, gathered in Vancouver’s West End. Even before the parade began the camaraderie and revelry was evident in the large diverse crowd. Sitting with my friends from gayvancouver.net I was wedged in beside a lovely older lady, a recent retiree to Vancouver, who, with her partner, was very excited to celebrate her first Pride Parade. On the other side of me were two happy little girls, excitedly blowing on their whistles and cheering loudly when the parade came by. As the parade began with the traditional ride by the ‘Dykes on Bikes’, like clockwork the skies began to clear and the sun emerged to brighten and warm the afternoon.
As the weather got hotter so did the parade participants…both literally and figuratively! The crowd was treated to over 100 spectacular floats and entries covering the whole spectrum of the community: corporate entries from banks and retailers, LGBT sports organizations and support groups marched alongside elected officials of most political parties who were followed up by nightclubs and restaurants. Costumes ranged from simple shorts & tees to elaborate drag queens/kings to bikini clad go-go dancers. The main 2010 Pride theme of Liberate was evident in many of the floats and groups as everyone aimed to get their particular message across, whether political, educational or just plain fun. And judging from the crowd…they had fun. After nearly 3 hours the parade wound down but the party didn’t. People headed to the Sunset Beach Pride festival to continue the festivities into the evening….and organizers probably began thinking about next year…will you be there?
Reigniting the Spirit of 2010! In our first opportunity since winter, my friend Brian and I, along with thousands of other Vancouverites, took to the streets again breaking out the red hoodies, jersey’s and Canada Olympic gear. Thanks to the lessons learned in February, Canada Day 2010 seemed to have an added boost of patriotism this year. Some Scottish tourists actually commented to me how amazed they were at the blatant patriotism on display (often emblazoned across our chests in a large CANADA). Canada Place is host of the biggest Canada Day party in the west and pulled out all the stops to wow the crowd of new and old Canadians. Beginning with the swearing in of a batch of new Canadian citizens, to a celebration of the Canadian Navy’s centenary, bands, dancers, street performers and the events were all topped off with the reignited Olympic Cauldron sitting in it’s newly finished water feature. It’s a great family oriented day out! Wrapping up our day is the annual Helijet Family Barbeque at the Vancouver Harbour Heliport. For the last few years we’ve gathered our families and friends, in the evening on July 1st to eat barbeque, drink, visit, watch kids play…then we all proceed down to the floating helipad for our exclusive view of the fireworks display over Canada Place. It’s our unique Helijet tribute to Canada Day…family, friends and fun !