Central Alberta Pride Week has officially begun.
The Central Alberta Pride Society launched a week of festivities with Pride in the Park at Canada 150 Square in Red Deer’s Capstone neighbourhood on Sunday.
Over the past couple of years, Pride Week has been impacted by COVID-19. Lenny Gallant, the society’s board president, said he’s “extremely excited” to host an in-person Pride in the Park again.
“We’ve done virtual options in the last couple of years, but it’s just not the same,” said Gallant.
“This year we’ve got our vendors back, we’ve got our supporters back, we’ve got food trucks. We have a market too – that’s something new to Pride in the Park. It’s great to bring people together to have fun.”
In years past, the event had been held at Bower Ponds.
“There have been some logistic issues there in the past,” Gallant noted.
“This facility (Canada 150 Square) is brand new and it’s great. It works well. We just wanted to try it out.”
It’s important to continue hosting a Central Alberta Pride Week event, Gallant stressed.
“We clearly need to still be drawing awareness to LGBTQ2S+ issues that are happening right here in our own backyard. Our job isn’t done,” Gallant said.
“It’s important for us within the community to support one another, and for the allies, our friends and supports to support the community because day-to-day it can be a struggle for some in the community.”
Red Deer Coun. Dianne Wyntjes said council supports the pride society and their efforts within the community.
“Let’s encourage all of our Red Deerians to join and celebrate our shared belief of unity and diversity,” said Wyntjes.
“Show gratitude for the many successes and contributions of those great Albertans who fought hard for the (LGBTQ2S+) rights.”
Edmonton-Highlands-Norwood MLA Janis Irwin, as well as local NDP candidates, spoke to the crowd at Pride in the Park to help kick off the week.
A Pride Week event that was scheduled for Saturday, the Over the Rainbow Drag Show, has been postponed until New Year’s Eve. Headliner Lady Bunny cancelled on short notice, which led the society to postpone the show.
Meanwhile, a smaller show with limited tickets will be held at the Viewpoint Lounge in Sylvan Lake’s Nexsource this upcoming Saturday, featuring Sparking Emotion and DD Fierce, as well as Steak from Edmonton, to close out Central Alberta Pride Week.
To see a full list of Central Alberta Pride Week events, visit www.centralalbertapride.ca.