A series of cars decorated with rainbow flags and balloons cruised through the streets of Red Deer in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
A car pride parade was held Saturday morning. The event began at the Black Knight Inn, moved north on Gaetz Avenue to 49th Avenue and then went west on Ross Street to Taylor Drive.
The event was co-sponsored by the Red Deer Queer Community Association, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and the Red Deer Downtown Business Association.
“We’re really excited with the turnout,” said Alex Pugatschew, co-chair of the RDQCA.
“Red Deer hasn’t had a pride parade in any capacity since 2016, and we’ve looked and we’ve talked to people who’ve lived here for the better part of two decades, and nobody remembers it. We couldn’t find it in any sort of record on the internet and that’s really hard to do these days.
“We don’t want it to fade, especially with COVID and everybody kind of estranged right now. It’s really important to make sure that people recognize that we’re still here. We haven’t forgotten the community is out there just because COVID is happening and because we can’t necessarily get together the way we used to.”
Rhys Pugatschew, RDQCA chairman, said a pride parade like this was important for Red Deer and central Alberta.
“Especially after Red Deer decided not to ban conversion therapy, I think it’s important that we’re out here and we’re saying we exist. (Continuing to allow conversion therapy) is absolutely not OK and our opinion matters,” said Rhys Pugatschew.
Saturday’s parade was about celebrating pride and everyone celebrating their “authentic selves,” Alex Pugatschew added.
For more information on the association and to see upcoming events, visit www.rdqca.org.