Kelowna Pride week to be celebrated in safe, inclusive manner - InfoNews

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Kelowna Pride week to be celebrated in safe, inclusive manner

Image Credit: SUBMITTED / Kelowna Pride Society
September 17, 2020 - 1:46 PM

Kelowna Pride will have not one, but three parades this year thanks to some innovative thinking during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The belated Pride Week kicks off in Kelowna tomorrow, Sept. 17. The festival week was originally scheduled for June during Pride Month due to the pandemic.

“Obviously, it has been a difficult year, to put it mildly, and while COVID-19 has presented unique challenges, we were determined to find a way to mark Kelowna Pride Week 2020 in a safe, inclusive and celebratory manner," Kelowna Pride Society general manager Dustyn Baulkham said in a media release.

"The board has been working really hard to find responsible ways to bring the community together, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with some special events that ensure we can celebrate Kelowna Pride Week 2020 while still being mindful of this moment in history."

From Sept. 18 to 27, the largest pride festival in the Interior will kick off with the preliminaries for Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar, held at Friends of Dorthy Lounge, Sept. 18. 

Tickets are sold out for the event, but outdoor seating will be available, weather dependant, on a first-come, first-serve basis, society manager Dustyn Baulkham said in a media release.

READ MORE: Kelowna Pride Week postponed until September

There will also be an Outdoor Rainbow Market at House of Rose Winery and other affiliated events hosted by members and organizations from the community.

From the Kelowna Out and Proud Film Festival at downtown Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts (Sept. 22 to 27) to QueeReads (Sept. 20 and 27) to Voices Unheard with Wilbur Turner (Sept. 22) and more.

Events will be live-streamed for free, with the exception of Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar which will be streamed for a small fee.

Three parades, including bicycle, vehicle and paddling events, will be held during the week and pre-registration is required.

The Pedal Parade, with participants on their bicycles, will be held Sept. 22, starting at 6 p.m. at Prospera Place.

“We will stagger the start of them to ensure physical distancing, we’re just finalizing the route with the city for approval before we share that. We are not encouraging in any way for people to come watch,” Baulkham said.

The Water Parade will be held downtown Sept. 23 at 6 p.m. along the waterfront starting at Kerry Park. All people-powered boats are welcome. The Vehicle Parade takes place Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. at Prospera Place. Mask wearing will be required during the pedal and water parades.

One of the biggest challenges in organizing the events this year has been the changing health orders and lack of details from the province on how to hold events.

“Many of us are desperately missing (gatherings,)” he said.

For the full list of events, and to pre-register, visit the Kelowna Pride Society website here. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Carli Berry or call 250-864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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