Pride Week in Red Deer is fast approaching and with that comes many activities for the public to enjoy to celebrate the LGBTQ community.
Taking place Aug. 12th-18th, Pride Week has expanded to be bigger and better.
The rainbow crosswalk will be brought back after some hesitation for various reasons.
“What surprised us was the publicity we got out of the crosswalk getting damaged by vandalism three years ago and there was some vandalism again last year,” said Serge Gingras, chair of the Central Alberta Pride Society.
He added that to some extent, it created an awareness in the community that, “There are still people who don’t agree with who some other people are because they’re different than they are and they cannot bring themselves to the fact that we’re all different and we all walk on a different path in life.
“At the end of the day, people have been asking for it and the City was asking if we’re going to paint the crosswalk,” he said, adding that they will be painting some time next week.
Last year, the Society covered the entire cost of the painting, while the paint was donated by Fargeys, who will be donating it again this year.
“For people who are concerned about taxpayers’ money being spent on the crosswalk, they need not worry, because there’s not one cent that comes from taxpayers’ money,” said Gingras.
When it comes to how accepting people are of Pride Week, Gingras said there is still some work to be done, but that the Society is continuing to encourage others to come out and celebrate.
“We wanted the event to be more inclusive over the years so starting about three years ago, that’s when the event became more community-oriented and more inclusive of anyone and everyone,” he said.
“We really encourage people regardless of who they are to come and join us at any of our activities.”
There will be a variety of events taking place during Pride Week, including a Fruit Float on Aug. 12th beginning at 8 a.m. at Fort Normandeau. It will then travel along the Red Deer River to Bower Ponds.
Worship in the Park hosted by the Gaetz Memorial United Church and Sunnybrook United Church, will take place at 10 a.m. at Bower Ponds Recreation Area. Pride in the Park will then kick off at 11 a.m. for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.
On Aug. 13th, a community conversation hosted by MLA Barb Miller will take place at the Golden Circle from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Gingras said that Pride Week is a time to celebrate, but there is still those negative comments from others.
“Pride Week is a celebration of the LGBTQ community but it’s also a reminder of where we come from as a community and as a society and also a reminder that there’s still a lot of work to be done.”
For a full list of events, visit centralalbertapride.ca.