25th Annual Pride Festival

Chelsea Girard
By Chelsea Girard July 23, 2017 22:40

This year’s Pride Festival will mark its 25th anniversary in Windsor-Essex and showcase an array of events.

With various events, diversity projects and speaking engagements, the Windsor-Essex Pride Fest is a weekend-long event with several different locations. Kicking off Pride Fest is the raising of the Pride flag on Aug. 9 at 10:30 a.m. in City Hall Square.

David Lenz, President of the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival said the festival is proof that Pride matters and to have helped create that space and give people that feeling is an incredibly rewarding experience. “I think seeing how much of an impact this festival has on people brings a smile to my face,” said Lenz. “We tailored the festival around the idea of how far the community has come and the advances that have been made. This is a good way to commemorate that.”

This year’s festival will introduce a 40-foot rock-climbing wall, an alcohol-free evening party and more events to attract people of all-ages.

With various off-site events, the community can take part in different diversity projects throughout the weekend. The events include: bowling on Thursday, Aug. 10; the Glitterball on Aug. 11; and the Pride parade on Wyandotte street Aug. 13, along with events at the Riverfront Festival Plaza.

Jeremy Houston, a member of the LGBTTIQ community, said the community knows what it’s like to not belong or to not be accepted for who they are.

“My favourite part of the Pride festival is the sense of community and acceptance it brings,” said Houston. “It’s a festival in which not only members that identify with the LGBTTIQ community take part, but where other people get to see a sense of family and togetherness and want to belong to that as well.”

Since 1992, the Windsor-Essex community has been supporting the LGBTTIQ community through theatre, music, art and entertainment to raise awareness of discrimination and the difficulties affecting the lives of the LGBTTIQ community.

Mel Lucier, board member for the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival said the flag raising ceremony is her favourite part of Pride Fest.

“I have been a part of the LGBTTIQ community for about 12 years,” said Lucier. “To me, the flag raising represents strength and freedom to live our truth, no matter what that may look like.”

For more information on the Windsor-Essex Pride Festival visit www.wepridefest.com.

Chelsea Girard
By Chelsea Girard July 23, 2017 22:40

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