Canada held its annual Pride march in celebration of Montreal Pride Week. Thousands of participants gathered Sunday afternoon, waving rainbow-colored flags and championing the rights of the LGBT community.

The festivities were held during the weekend in downtown Montreal, and was attended by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. The Irish official visited the country to join the celebration, and is the first foreign leader to join the Pride March, the Montreal Gazette reported.

Varadkar told the news website how happy he was to be part of this year’s festivities. He said that the 2017 pride march celebrated “inclusiveness, diversity, and tolerance.”

Sunday’s event honored a significant tradition that started in the area back in the late 1970s. The parade was participated by businesses and groups, which designed their magnanimous and colorful floats following this year’s theme, “Canada Pride Montreal 2017,” the official website said.

Gay-friendly businesses

The 2017 pride march began on the corner of Drummond Street, and went on along René-Lévesque Boulevard, the official website reported. It ended along the Village and Alexandre-DeSève Street. The parade was followed by stage performances in a closing show.

The festivities reportedly featured colorfully-designed floats from various sports, cultural and community organizations, especially from communities that champion LGBT rights. The website also stated that gay-friendly businesses joined the event, celebrating the contributions of their gay and lesbian employees, and clients to the local economy.

There were special awards given to the “Most Crowd-Pleasing Float,” as well the best-dressed participants. The businesses who joined the march were part of the category called “Corporate Float of the Year.”

First gay PM

Leo Varadkar is Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister.

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He is also the country’s youngest ever PM.

Last weekend, he joined Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau in walking with the LGBT communities, and championing their advocacies. It has been earlier reported that Trudeau is among the world leaders who is strongly promoting the rights of the gay community.

The Canadian PM had earlier posted a statement on Facebook, in support of gay rights. He wrote, “We will passionately defend the rights of all our citizens, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”