06/29/2013 12:55 EDT | Updated 06/30/2013 03:43 EDT

Vancouver Pride 2013 Events Start June 29


If there was one event that could sucessfully destroy Vancouver’s “no fun city” reputation, it would be Pride.

On August 4, approximately 700,000 people are expected to attend this year's Vancouver Pride Parade – the fifth largest in the world – to sing, dance and celebrate LGBQT culture. The annual event transforms the city's West End neighbourhood and is affectionately referred to by many locals as “gay Christmas.”

This year’s parade grand marshals include LGBQT advocates Zdravko Cimbaljevic and Brandon Timmerman as well as the moms of advocacy group Parents, Families & Friends of Lesbians and Gays.

Organized by the Vancouver Pride society, events leading up to the big parade are scheduled to kick off June 29. Here's a sample of some pride-themed events to expect around the city:

June 29: East Side Pride

Purposefully timed around the anniversary of New York City’s Stonewall riots – the infamous 1969 protests against homophobic bylaws – this free family-friendly event in Vancouver’s funky Commercial Drive area will boast a Pride Market, featuring goodies from neighbourhood artisans.

Expect live music and a licensed beer garden for thirsty adults.

July 13: Gay Day at Playland

What’s the difference between a regular day vs. Gay Day at the PNE? A Free Zone featuring a beer garden and BBQ zone. Enough said.

July 27: Pride Run & Walk

Get fit before the big parade with the 9th Annual Vancouver Pride Run & Walk. Known for its colourful disco cool-off statons, 5 and 10 km runners (and walkers) will start the race at Lumberman’s Arch in Stanley Park at 9 a.m.

You can find a full list of other fun Pride events here.

Check out photos from last year's parade here:

Photo gallery Vancouver Gay Pride 2012 See Gallery