A first of its kind Red Deer pride parade will be held Saturday and everyone is invited to join in and raise a pride flag in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.
Other pride parades have been held in the past, but this is the community’s first vehicle pride parade.
The procession starts at 11 a.m. at the Black Knight Inn parking lot and will move north on Gaetz Avenue to 49th Avenue, before heading west on Ross Street to Taylor Drive.
Rhys Pugatschew, one of the founders of the Red Deer Queer Community Association, said inspiration came from a car pride parade held in Spruce Grove.
“We decided what a great idea. Red Deer definitely needs some pride. Just deck out your car with all the rainbows you have,” Pugatschew said.
Pugatschew said it was especially important to hold a parade in Red Deer, because it does not have a bylaw banning conversion therapy.
“We’re here and we’re queer, so we need to come out and say we exist.”
The queer community association is fairly new and is focused on hosting events throughout the year.
“Our aim is to provide a safe place for everyone to be themselves. You don’t have to be part of the community. It doesn’t matter.
“We’re just here to give that safe space, and to help support people by helping them be themselves,” Pugatschew said.
The parade will run rain or shine, with no fees to enter. All participants must remain in their vehicles to adhere to social distancing rules, and all traffic laws must be obeyed.
An after party at 3 p.m. will be held at the Kiwanis Picnic area at Bower Ponds.
The parade is co-sponsored by the queer community association, Central Alberta Sexual Assault Support Centre and Red Deer Downtown Business Association.