Pride Parade and Pride in the Park wrap successful Pride Week

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The crowd at Pride in the Park was invited up to take a photograph on the stage before the event took place in Kinsmen Park on Saturday.

Pride Week in Prince Albert was a resounding success and closed in typical fashion with the Pride Parade and Pride in the Park on Saturday.

Prince Albert Pride Chair Chelsea Bleau explained that they were excited to see all the supporters and allies of the LGBTQ community that numbered in the hundreds. Included in the march were representatives from the Saskatchewan Rivers School Division.

Bleau explained that they were able to have Saskatoon Pride in attendance this year because the event did not crossover with other Pride events.

“We made sure this year. Last year, we overlapped with Regina Pride. And so a lot of people were disappointed they couldn’t make it. Sometimes that happens just with planning. We get carried away and sometimes it overlaps. This year, thankfully, we made sure to not overlap so everybody could come and participate,” Bleau said.

The Parade, as always, began at Court of King’s Bench and ended at Kinsmen Park for Pride in the Park. The Pride in the Park saw an afternoon of performances and speakers.

“I feel like the end is awesome because it’s like going out with a huge bang, it’s a finale,” Bleau said.

Michael Oleksyn The Pride Parade made its way to Kinsmen Park down 20th street ahead of the Pride in the Park event on Saturday.

Before Pride in the Park began someone in attendance borrowed the microphone and had everyone in attendance who wished would come and pose for a photo.

Pride in the Park opened with the Spirit Strong Singers. Speakers included Kirsten Fritsch of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation (STF) executive and Saskatoon Meewasin NDP MLA Nathaniel Teed.

Performers included LJ Tyson, rapper Jonathan Karabekian and Patrick Moon Bird. The board was also introduced and there were several Drag performances.

With Pride itself, the LGBTQ community and the trans community being a target of hate from a segment of society, Pride Week was more important than ever, according to Bleau.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald The Pride Parade made its way to Kinsmen Park down 19th Street ahead of the Pride in the Park event on Saturday.

“I would say so. It’s especially important for allies to get involved here,” they said.

The event was also supported by the Prince Albert Police Service who provided an escort for the Parade.

“We stand strong despite the hate,” Bleau added.

The final event for Pride Week is the Calvary United Church Diversity Service on Sunday. Bleau said they also consider that another example of being an ally.

“This week was extremely successful. We had a great turnout at every single one of our events. It was very fun. Last night was our Gaymer Night at Wesmor High School and it was incredible.”

“And I feel like today is going to be even more amazing. We have vendors at the park already set up,” Bleau said.

Before the Pride in the Park started, organizers found a homophobic slur spray-painted on the sidewalk in front of where the bands performed. Because it was discovered early in the morning, they were able to cover the vandalism with a butterfly along with additional chalk messages of support.