Pictured here are members of the Lacombe Pride Society with their float which was part of the Lacombe Days parade on July 15. Photo submitted

Pictured here are members of the Lacombe Pride Society with their float which was part of the Lacombe Days parade on July 15. Photo submitted

Organizers putting the finishing touches on plans for Lacombe Pride Weekend

Members of the Lacombe Pride Society are finalizing plans for a slate of activities to run during the community’s inaugural Lacombe Pride Weekend.

“We were in the Lacombe Days parade – which was kind of our ‘hello’ to the city of Lacombe,” said Jonathan Luscombe, the Society’s executive director.

They also had more folks show up to walk alongside the float than they had expected, which was great to see, he said. “We had close to 30 volunteers walking with our float.

“So we had the absolute best time,” he said. “Ninety percent of the time, we were dancing, having fun and there were people cheering us on. We were happy to just be there and to be ourselves.

“It was awesome to see that support.”

The Society is Lacombe’s first official LGBTQIA2S+ not-for-profit.

It had been on Luscombe’s mind for some time, and it was early this year that he decided to move forward with helping to establish the Society.

In the meantime, plans are shaping up for Lacombe Pride Weekend which runs Aug. 25-26.

“We have two days which are packed with stuff. We decided just to go full-on,” he said. “I have been both so excited and nervous because, for one thing, I just want everything to go so smoothly.

“I want people to see the beauty in who we are and the beauty that is in Pride. I want people to look at our hearts, and say, ‘Wow, these people are just here to enjoy themselves and to live life.

“So I think that with this event, it’s all about that. I feel like this community is ready for this.”

On Aug. 25, organizers will be hosting a Pride flag raising with the Lacombe Museums at the Michener House.

“We’ll also be making some Pride buttons to wear to our events – this will take place in the morning. I’ll be speaking, and they will also be revealing a blanket that they’ve been working on – so it will be a grand display and a kick-off to Pride weekend.

“Following that will be a family-friendly barbecue and games at Popow Park,” said Luscombe.

Journey Youth Creative is also partnering with the Society for a live story reading which will also feature folks who will share elements from their own personal stories.

“In the evening we are partnering with Blindman Brewing to have a ‘Pups and Pints’ night. We will use their patio, and have people dress up their dogs in the best costumes. Wags will be donating some swag bags for us, and we will have a photo booth set up, too.

“It’s just an evening for people to enjoy themselves — come out, enjoy a beer on the patio, and have some fun in the evening!”

On Aug. 26, the main event is ‘Pride in the Park’ which will be held in the Lest We Forget park by the LMC. Things kick off at 11 a.m. and run through to 3 p.m.

Mainstage entertainment will feature a drag show with Red Deer’s House of Glitter, a few talks, plus lots of local entertainment.

There will also be games, activities, music, local talent, plus an all-inclusive market to explore, he said.

Wrapping things up on Saturday evening will be an adults-only drag show at the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre.

“We’ve been working hard on this, but we’ve also seen the anticipation for this (weekend) grow,” he said. “We also have people coming from all over Alberta to this event.”

Ultimately, Luscombe wants to see more communication among non-profits in the local area – talking about their programs, why they started their programs, and how they can help each other out. “We are all in this for the same reason, which is to make our community better, more beautiful, and a safer place to be and live in. We can all learn from each other.

“We will then become a stronger community and a more connected community.”

For more about the Lacombe Pride Weekend, news, programs, and meetings, you can find the Lacombe Pride Society on Facebook.