I knew to expect the unexpected when live-describing this year's Toronto Pride Parade June 28th, and plenty of the unexpected happened. My partner in crime JJ Hunt had to cancel due to a terrible back condition (he's on the mend now) and the weather over the weekend was more like "March" weather - meaning the month - with rain and wind. There was even a question if I'd be able to describe at all because the tent (needed to keep the audio equipment and the people out of the rain) was getting blown away. But as usually happens at Pride, things worked out, and the experience was amazing.
Despite the rain, more than a million people lined the parade route through downtown, with dozens in and around our tent. There was much to keep track of, with the different banners, floats of dancers, happy groups and fabulous outfits - three hours passed by in a blur before I realized we were done! I was humbled to get great feedback - from the blind/low-vision people who attended, from the sighted but older and otherwise disabled people taking shelter under the tent, and even from sighted people just standing near the tent on the route; giving us a bonus of raising the profile of description with people who hadn't heard of it before.
Huge thanks goes to Darren, Marjorie and everyone on the Accessibility Team, as well as all the workers and volunteers who make Pride a highlight of Toronto every year. It was a privilege to be a small part of it.