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4th annual Pride Parade hits Red Deer streets

Celebrating Pride Month
The 2023 Car Pride Parade, organized by the Red Deer Queer Community Association, was held June 23, 2023. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community and supporters took to the streets of Red Deer on Friday for a Car Pride Parade to spread the message of love and respect.

Pride flags and balloons decorated eight vehicles that looped through the downtown before heading to Bower Place shopping centre and returning to the downtown.

Alex Pugatschew, co-chair of the Red Deer Queer Community Association, wanted to remind people to be careful who they hate because it could be someone they love.

On Thursday, Alberta RCMP warned of a recent spike in hate incidents targeting 2SLGBTQ+ people and encouraged all Albertans to report any hate-related incidents to police.

Pugatschew said the association hasn’t received any threats, but recalled recent damage to the Pride sidewalk murals in front of Junktiques Home Decor and Pride Shop earlier this month.


‘Hate has no place in Alberta:’ RCMP is cracking down hate crimes against 2SLGBTQ+ community

“I know that there’s a lot of people who have been dealing with issues in terms of threats. Later on today we’re going down to Innisfail Pride to support them and help deter the threats they’ve received,” Pugatschew said before the parade.

“At the end of the day, we’re celebrating Pride to show the people that are receiving these threats that we’re there for them, and to show the people who are making these threats that we’re not going to run and hide.”

She said the 2SLGBTQ+ population exists and those behind the threats can’t yell loud enough to make us go away.

“That’s all it really is. They’re throwing tantrums. The world is changing and they’re just going to have to get used to it.”


Pride murals in Red Deer targeted during Pride Month

Next on the list of Pride Month events is the sold-out High Tea with the Queens at Cronquist House.

A Queer Prom at the Snell Auditorium in Red Deer Public Library’s downtown branch will be held on June 30. The event will serve as a year-end celebration for many young Central Albertans, and tickets are still available.

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Susan Zielinski

About the Author: Susan Zielinski

Susan has been with the Red Deer Advocate since 2001. Her reporting has focused on education, social and health issues.
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