HALIFAX – With uncertainty looming over Halifax’s Pride parade this year, smaller communities in Nova Scotia are stepping up and opening their doors during what some say is a pivotal time for LGBTQ rights.
Lunenburg County Pride is hosting the first-ever Pride parade in Bridgewater on the province’s South Shore on Sunday.
The parade will be followed by two after parties and a week of events for all ages, including a senior social, flag raising, drag queen story time, comedy night, movie night, dog show and drag show and dance.
Lunenburg County Pride chair Steve Ellis says the parade has about 40 entries and will likely last about an hour.
He says with the Halifax Pride parade up in the air, organizers of the Bridgewater parade are encouraging people to make the roughly one-hour trek from the city to the South Shore event.
The Halifax Pride parade is slated to take place on July 23, yet a lack of communication from parade organizers and the abrupt cancellation of a community information meeting last week has cast doubt on whether it will go ahead.
The uncertainty in Halifax comes as Pride organizations across the country face increasing threats, while anti-LGBTQ protesters have come out to oppose events such as child-friendly drag performances — including in Kentville, N.S.
Lunenburg County Pride has been working closely with local police and the town to ensure the safety of all parade organizers, participants and attendees, Ellis said.
“We are cognizant that some people within our community view that as controversial given that some pride parades have asked police not to attend,” he said. “But for us, this is our first parade. We’re in a rural area. We know the climate that we’re currently in and we wanted to have that protection.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 8, 2023.
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