Members of Central Alberta’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transsexual community will take part in the areas first pride events this weekend. The events are organized by a small group of volunteers calling themselves Central Alberta Pride.
The event will kick off with a nod from Mayor Morris Flewwelling on Friday, with a mayoral proclamation, at 5 p.m. at City Hall Park.
“I think it’s more about feeling safe and involved in your community and if your mayor and government are willing to proclaim a Pride Day in your community it means a lot,” said Kristol Gallivan, one of the event organizers with Central Alberta Pride.
“Calgary and Edmonton both have pride events, so we are just looking to extend our community with both queer and non-queer members.”
The events continue into the weekend with the Fruit Float down the Red Deer River on Saturday.
Planning to launch from Fort Normandeau and land at McKenzie Trails, the river float is meant for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and queer members of the community as well as friends and family.
“We will be meeting at McKenzie Trails at 11 a.m., so if any one needs a ride to Fort Normandeau meet us there and from there we will head to Fort Normandeau,” said Gallivan.
Following the river ride at 8 p.m., the Dirrty and Drag show at The Vat will commence.
The show will feature the local adult comedy group, The Dirrty Show, who sing about all things “dirrty and hilarious.”
Later that evening, drag queen performances will include the Empress of the Imperial Sovereign Court of the Chinook Arch, Argintina Hailey-Dior, as well as drag king performances from Calgary’s Fake Mustache Drag King Troupe.
“It’s going to be a great show and we’re hoping that it will sell out so make sure you’re there early. The drag kings will be dressing up as men which is rare to see in this area,” explains Gallivan.
“The proceeds from the show will be going to pride next year, in hopes of making next year’s event even stronger.”
To finish off the string of events, a multi-faith service will be held at the Cronquist House at Bower Ponds on Sunday beginning at 11 a.m. with a Central Alberta Pride Family Friendly BBQ to follow.
Supporters of the event include many local businesses such as DOSE Coffee, giving a dollar off any purchase on Aug. 9th, 15% off Talk of the Town clothing, and Mr. Mikes has sponsored the family friendly BBQ.
“In the future we want to have a parade route from to Edmonton to Calgary and hope to get more support from our community,” said Gallivan.
“I think that this weekend will more or less establish a sense of community. I’m from Edmonton and I think that we need to start a conversation here in Red Deer about tolerance and get the community growing.”