Representatives with Central Alberta Pride Society, the City of Red Deer and local citizens gathered to walk across one of the rainbow crosswalks located in downtown Red Deer. Pride Week runs from Aug. 12th through to Aug. 18th, officially starting this Sunday with Pride in the Park. Mark Weber/Red Deer Express

WATCH: Rainbow sidewalks kick off local pride celebrations

Pride Week officially runs Aug. 12th through to Aug. 18th

Red Deerians gathered on the morning of Aug. 9th to mark the beginnings of pride celebrations in the City. Officials with Central Alberta Pride Society showcased two rainbow sidewalks in the downtown core.

A Fruit Float, which had originally been set for Aug. 12th at Fort Normandeau, has been postponed until Aug. 19th. It will travel along the Red Deer River to Bower Ponds from Fort Normandeau.

Worship in the Park, hosted by the Gaetz Memorial United Church and Sunnybrook United Church, also took place at Bower Ponds Recreation Area.

Pride in the Park then kicked off at 11 a.m. for the rest of the afternoon and into the evening.

“As a Society and as a planning group for Pride Week, we really endeavour to be inclusive, diverse and to have activities that are for everyone of all ages,” said Serge Gingras, president of the Central Alberta Pride Society.

Gingras said he’s been living in Red Deer for 33 years, and said the LGBTQ community has come a long ways during that time.

“I also think that over the last three or four years we have grown by leaps and bounds in terms of being out in the community and having the community also embrace us,” he said. He added that the rainbow crosswalks are a gesture from the LGBTQ community to invite the community at large to embrace anyone and everyone, regardless of who they are or where they come from.

The paint was donated by Fargeys.

“My observation over the past three years is that we have seen more and more people come to us and support us,” he said. “In the last couple of years, and in particular this year, I have found that more and more businesses, organizations and corporations have come to us and really, really wanted to be part of our celebration and to support us,” he said, adding that support extends to a growing sense of diversity at large across the community.

“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.

“I’m really pleased to have observed the evolution of diversity and inclusion in our community on all kinds of different levels.”

Coming up this weekend is Discovery Pride – a family event at Discovery Canyon from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 18th along with a Drag Show & Dance at the Sheraton from 7 p.m. to midnight.

For a full list of events, visit centralalbertapride.ca.

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