KAMLOOPS - Downtown Kamloops will be host this weekend to its first Pride Parade, but there are many other events leading up to it.
Events for Pride Weekend kick off Thursday night, Aug. 17, when members of the trans and non-binary communities will share their stories at the Kamloops library on Victoria Street, according to a media release.
People who want to understand these communities better or learn how to better support trans and non-binary people in their lives are encouraged to attend.
The audience will also have an opportunity to ask questions of the presenters.
Sharing Our Stories will be hosted from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Following the presentation, the Blue Grotto nightclub will be hosting NIGHT OUT in support of Kamloops Pride.
Burlesque performers including Vancouver-based April O'Peel, Vixen Von Flex, and Melody Mangler will be performing, along with local entertainers.
There will also be a cash silent-auction and admission is $10. Tickets are available for purchase here.
On Friday, Aug. 18, the "Design your Pride" sign-making party will kick off at 3 p.m. and go until 8 p.m. at Padlock Studios.
People are able to drop in and make their own sign for Sunday's Pride Parade downtown. Local artist Nicole Stanchfield will be there to offer tips on sign-making and supplies will be provided.
The studio is located on the first floor of 175 2nd Ave.
Head to Proud out Loud hosted by CJ's Nightclub on Saturday night, Aug. 19, at 9 p.m. for a night of dancing before the inaugural Pride Parade.
Tickets are available ahead of time for $12.50 here, or you can purchase a ticket at the door for $10.
The weekend will wrap up, of course, with downtown Kamloops' first Pride Parade, with the theme of 'Out in the Street', on Sunday, Aug. 20.
According to Kamloops Pride's website, the theme is symbolic of a commitment to encourage visibility and celebration of the local LGBTQ2S+ community.
Motor vehicles are prohibited from the walking parade but bikes are welcome.
Individuals can still register to walk in the parade here.
Check-in and last-minute registration will begin at 10 a.m. Sunday in Riverside Park, followed by welcome speeches at 10:45 a.m. The hour-and-a-half parade officially begins at 11 a.m. Activities will be held in Riverside Park after the parade until 2 p.m.
The British Consul General in Vancouver, Nicole Davison, has announced she will be attending and marching in the Kamloops Pride Parade.
Kamloops Pride says ithat Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reached out to the organization earlier this month to congratulate organizers and volunteers on making it happen.
Hundreds of people are expected to march in the parade, and people are asked to refrain from parking on Victoria Street from 1 Avenue to 5 Avenue, and on 5 Avenue between Victoria Street and Lansdowne Street on Sunday morning as the roads will be closed to vehicles. One lane will remain open on Lansdowne Street and bus service won't be effected.
You can end the weekend with a pint at Red Collar Brewing between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. for the Rainbrew Pride Afterparty where an IPA from a "special Pride cask" will be available.
For more information on all of these events, go here.
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