A rainbow crosswalk defaced by black skid marks will be repaired.
Saskatoon Pride Festival and the city announced Tuesday morning they would close down 23rd Street between 3rd Avenue and 4th Avenue between 7 and 9 p.m. to allow volunteers to restore the rainbow colours.
“The community of Saskatoon deserves to have what we wanted them to have,” Pride co-chair Danny Papadatos said. “And no one is going to take that away from us.”
The rainbow crosswalk at 23rd St. and 4th Ave. was tarnished Monday after a driver burned out their tires over it, leaving behind two black tire marks.
The family of the vandal has contacted Pride, according to Papadatos, and they’re expected to release a joint statement with the organization later this week.
Pride sent out an invite on Facebook for people to join them at the crosswalk with paint, rollers and magic erasers to help fix the damage.
Papadatos said Pride would be purchasing all of the supplies to avoid comments over misuse of city funds.
He noted while the city paid the upfront costs for the initial painting of the crosswalk, Pride would be pitching in money for the project after their festival is done.
‘Not backing down’
There had been discussion with Mayor Charlie Clark as to whether it would be best to leave the marks as a reminder of the importance of Pride.
But negative comments on social media changed Papadatos’ mind.
“It’s shone a light on how a lot of people still think in this city,” he said. “We’re not backing down.”
Papadatos said he hoped the incident would be an opportunity for the community to move forward together and enjoy Pride Festival, which begins Friday and culminates in the Pride Parade on June 24.