A few dozen vehicles decked out in rainbow flags cruised through Red Deer to celebrate Pride Month.
The Red Deer Queer Community Association hosted its second annual Car Pride Parade Saturday, beginning in Parkland Mall’s north parking lot.
“With everything that’s been going on lately, in the schools especially, it’s really important to show that we’re not going anywhere,” said Alex Pugatschew, association vice-chairperson.
“We want to show the young people here that there are adults to support them. We definitely want to show we’re here and we’re loudly proclaiming that we’re here no matter what – no matter the weather, no matter what school boards say, no matter what the government says.”
Earlier this year, Red Deer Public Schools board of trustees received criticism from the LGBTQ community for rejecting a district-wide Pride Week in favour of a Diversity Week.
This year’s parade received about “twice as much interest” as the association’s first parade last summer, said Pugatschew.
“We’ve been trying to get everything together since like March,” she said.
“We’re really excited and we’re happy with the turnout, especially with the weather. We were kind of bummed out looking at the weather forecast, all this week it was sunny and then thought, ‘Of course the thunderstorms are coming on the weekend.’”
But the rain and thunder mostly held off as the cars travelled from the Parkland Mall to Red Deer College and back.
Several of the attendees at Saturday’s parade came from out of town to participate, Pugatschew added.
“There’s nothing that can change who we are. That’s how it is,” she said.
“It’s Pride. What’s more urging to make you smile than a bunch of rainbows? This is definitely needed, it’s definitely desired. There’s nothing better than seeing people happy and seeing people represented.”
The association is hosting a number of other events throughout Pride Month, including a cake decorating contest, online cabaret and burlesque shows on June 17 and 18, respectively, and a scavenger hunt on June 20.
For more information, visit www.rdqca.org/pride-2021.