Community spirit builds for Central Alberta Pride week

A variety of events set to take place in Red Deer next week

You could say that Red Deer and Central Alberta in general have come a long ways in terms of support for the LGBTQ community.

Next week marks the fifth annual Central Alberta Pride Week, and things are set to kick off at Bower Ponds on Sunday. Throughout the week 13 events will take place to mark the occasion as well.

One such event includes the City of Red Deer painting two rainbows at the intersection of Ross Street and Little Gaetz Avenue to show support for the LGBTQ community ahead of this year’s Pride events. That event takes place Aug. 10th at the intersection of Ross Street and Little Gaetz Ave. The community is invited to come out and show their support.

Things officials get kicked off with a worship service at Gaetz United Church on Sunday at 10:30 a.m. followed by Pride in the Park at Bower Ponds from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a Pride flag raising ceremony at Red Deer College on Monday, a Painting for Pride event in Lacombe on Tuesday, as well as a LGBTQ and Aging Community Conversation at the Golden Circle that afternoon. Other events include a Rainbow Block Party, a burlesque show, a barbecue, RainBowling, ice skate and ‘fruit float’ to round out the week on Aug. 20th.

Another big Pride event is the Drag Show and Dance at the Sheraton Hotel Aug. 19th. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Officials with the Central Alberta Pride Society said over the years Pride Week has continued to grow in the City.

“Last year we knocked it out of the park with an extremely successful, well-branded, well-advertised event and we grew on last year to make this year even bigger and better than what we’ve done in the past,” said Joel Graham, a board member on Central Alberta Pride Society and events planner for Pride Week.

For years one through four, the mayor’s proclamation took place at City Hall Park, with crowds growing from 50 to 100 to last year’s over 300 count. This goes to show the support Pride Week receives in our community.

For more information on Central Alberta Pride Week events, visit www.centralalbertapride.ca or www.facebook.com/RedDeerPrideDays.