The 17th annual Vancouver Pagan Pride Day, held Saturday in Surrey's Hawthorne Park, drew 350 people from all religions and walks of life, up from last year's turnout of 250.
Kerr Cuhulain, Preceptor General of the Order of Scathach and organizer of the event, said it was very successful and well-received by locals and the city. Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston was in attendance and spoke in support of the pagan community.
"He seemed to be very pleased with how our community was growing and how supportive we are of various charities in the community," said Cuhulain, adding the event collected about 30 pounds of food for the Surrey Food Bank.
Cuhulain read an address from Mayor Dianne Watts, who was out of town at the time.
"Surrey is proud to be a culturally, ethnically and spiritually diverse city," read the statement. "We view this as one of our greatest strengths and thank the pagan community present in Surrey and the Lower Mainland region for openly sharing their rich religious background.
Cuhulain said he plans to keep Vancouver Pagan Pride Day in Surrey next year, though the location may change.
"There are a lot of people using Hawthorne Park, and with the numbers and the merchants expanding, we may start looking for a larger venue within the city," he said.