07/24/2015 12:46 EDT | Updated 07/24/2016 05:59 EDT

Halifax Pride Parade to close downtown streets Saturday afternoon

The sidewalks in downtown Halifax are expected to be packed Saturday afternoon along the Halifax Pride Parade route.

Organizers say Pride has been steadily growing over the years. Some estimates say 100,000 people will attend this parade.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we got more. I don't even know if we could hold more. Spring Garden Road is packed, Barrington is packed," Halifax Pride chairman Willem Blois said Friday.

That's one reason this year will feature a new accessibility stage for anyone with a mobility device or who has trouble standing.

"We have many different people who come to see the parade and we want everyone to be able to share in the parade in the same way, and we don't want anyone left out," Blois said.

A number of downtown Halifax streets will be temporarily closed to traffic and parking on Saturday due to the parade.

Streets directly on the parade route, and at least one block in every direction fanning out from the parade route, will shut down starting at 12:30 p.m., Halifax Regional Municipality has advised.

The parade begins at the Halifax Dockyard at 1 p.m., a half hour earlier than previous years.

In the courtyard of the Lord Nelson Hotel, which was last year's "best float" winner, employees are getting ready to defend their title. Their theme: A Garden of Love, complete with a life-like papier-mâché tree and bouquets of flowers.

"The detail on it is spectacular, and then of course we made an arch as well and we wrapped it with mock leaves and whatnot, and it just looks awesome," hotel sales manager Giles Gallant said.

At the Brunswick Street Youth Project, executive director Kate Shewan knows the importance of feeling included. She works with LGBTQ youth — many will be marching tomorrow with their Candyland-themed float.  

"They maybe have come from environments where they're not fully accepted, and to be at Pride where, especially the parade tomorrow where there will be crowds cheering them, will be a great experience," Shewan said.

The route will proceed down Barrington Street, turning right on Spring Garden Road, right onto South Park Street, continuing onto Bell Road and finally turning into the Garrison Grounds.

There will be no parking anywhere along the parade route. All of the affected streets will reopen by 4 p.m., at the latest, the city says.

Several Halifax Transit routes will be affected by the Halifax Pride Parade. Visit the transit website to view temporary changes to routes during the afternoon.

See 28th annual Halifax Pride Festival for more information on the parade and other pride events.