Members of Central Alberta’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transsexual and queer community wound up their first local pride celebration this past Sunday.
A weekend full of events started last Friday, with Mayor Morris Flewwelling, recognizing the weekend as Central Alberta Pride Days, when he signed a proclamation in front of more than 100 people in City Hall Park.
“The proclamation was one of the most surprising events as far as turn out. There were a lot of members of the community there both straight and gay,” said Kristol Gallivan, one of the event’s organizers.
“To see the mayor of the City acknowledge the diversity present with in Red Deer was incredible.”
On Saturday, members of the LGBTQ community could be seen floating from Fort Normandeau to Mackenzie Trails as part of the ‘fruit float’ event, in which they flew their pride flags down the river.
Later that night, The Dirrty Drag Show at The Vat brought down the house selling out the show at 180 people.
“We were turning people away,” said Gallivan. “I had never seen a crowd like that before. There were people dressed in drag talking with straight people, people who go to The Vat often and people who had never been there before.”
A multi-faith service finished off the weekend with about 45 people in attendance on Sunday at Bower Bonds along with a family BBQ.
“I was overwhelmed by all of the support of Red Deer and we had a lot of councilmen come out as well as other important members of the community,” said Gallivan.
“People asked what it was like to be part of the LGBTQ community and asked a lot of great questions so I think it helped shed some light for sure.”
The future of the Central Alberta LGBTQ community got a little brighter with the decision to form a society.
After their application to form a society was given the green light, a general meeting was held last night at the Cronquist House to begin the planning for next year’s events and to work to better establish the community.
“The meeting is to set up our society, come up with bylaws and a mission statement,” said Gallivan. “We want to better establish the society for next year’s events which we are hoping will include a lot of the same as we saw this year but maybe with a parade as well.”