Big turnout expected for Pride weekend

The exposure gained from the first Central Alberta Pride weekend festival last year has organizers expecting a big turnout in 2014.

The exposure gained from the first Central Alberta Pride weekend festival last year has organizers expecting a big turnout in 2014.

The festivities set for Aug. 15 to 17 in Red Deer are much the same as the 2013 lineup, which marked the first such celebration in Red Deer’s history.

A kickoff party at 5 p.m. on Aug. 15 in City Hall Park will get things underway, but there is no proclamation signing planned for this year as there was last time around.

Following that, drag queens and kings will be the featured attraction at The Vat for the Drag-Apoca-Lips event starting at 8 p.m.

The next morning, revellers with take to the Red Deer River for the Family Friendly Fruit Float from Fort Normandeau to McKenzie Trails. Later, Fratters Speakeasy will be the venue for a concert featuring B.C.-based Kate Reid and Red Deer’s own The Dirrty Show.

Reid is billed as a side-splittingly funny folksinger, educator and activist. Organizer Kristol Gallivan said Reid is a big get for the festival, as she rarely comes to Alberta to perform.

On Aug. 17, a special church service will be held at St. Andrew’s United Church in Lacombe, starting at 10:30 p.m. A barbecue from 1 to 4 p.m. at Red Deer’s Recreation Centre picnic area will conclude the celebrations.

Gallivan said last year’s event really helped bring in people from all across the region, and in the last year Central Alberta Pride has officially registered as a society. While the group now boasts members from communities like Gull Lake and Mirror, most of its events are still held in Red Deer because it is the regional centre.

“(The church service) is us trying to reach out to other communities. It’s hard, but we’re getting there,” she said.

Organizers are expecting four to five hundred people to come to town for the event.

There was talk last year of having a specific Pride parade, as is done in other cities, as part of the event in 2014. But the still young group was not prepared to tackle such a big task so soon. Instead, members will march in today’s Westerner Days Parade for the second straight year.

Tickets for The Dirrty Show/Kate Reid concert will be available later in July at a cost of $20 per person. They will be available through the Central Alberta Aids Network Society, 53rd Street Music, and Fratters Speakeasy, as well as Central Alberta Pride board members.

Drag-Apoca-Lips tickets, also $20, will be available at the door.

For more information, visit the Central Alberta Pride Facebook page.

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