Casi-Jo LaSalle and Sarah Laverick enjoy a picnic in the park. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

The Pride Society hosts a Picnic in the Park

The event celebrateed Pride Month while reuniting the society after isolation

On June 12, the Fernie Pride Society kicked off Pride Month celebrations with a Pride Picnic in the Park. Rainbow flags, bright blankets, and assorted lawn games scattered the Annex Park as over 30 people from throughout the Elk Valley collected to honour inclusivity and love. Attendees included mayor Ange Qualizza, board members from the Fernie Pride Society, a number of youth, and many new faces.

The Fernie Pride Society works to eliminate isolation within the queer community in the Elk Valley. The all inclusive, family friendly Pride in the Park event was organized by Rainbow Connections, formerly known as Beers and Queers. Rainbow Connections intends to host an exciting, outdoor event on the second Friday of every month. After a few months of isolation, Kevin Allen, president of Fernie Pride Society, stressed the importance of this event to bring their community back together while celebrating Pride Month.

“For me, it’s important that we take up space in our community as queer people, and that we have public events and show the community that we are here,” said Allen. “I know not everyone is happy with our existence, so it is important for me as an out and proud gay man to stake my claim and claim my space in my town.”

To account for pandemic regulations, all attendees adhered to distancing guidelines and brought their own picnic utensils. Food for the event was supplied by The Pub, who organized a take out menu for the event, offering participants everything from burgers, to fish and chips, and toasted LGBT sandwiches.

“This is the first pride event I’ve been to since coming out,” said Morle Stewart, a youth attendee at the picnic. “It’s important to me to have people that I can relate to, they understand what I’m going through, and offer me a safe space”.

Many other guests mirrored the same sentiments, mentioning their appreciation for a positive place to go, meet, and mingle with other LGBTQ+ youth and adults that have gone through similar experiences.

According to Allen, the Pride Society seeks to run another Pride Month event towards the end of the month, commemorating the Stonewall riots that occurred on June 28, 1969. Joining pride organizations from around the world, they also hope to tune into an online event entitled World Pride, while crossing their fingers that the annual Fernie Pride Festival in October will still run.

For more information on upcoming events, visit the Fernie Pride Society’s website or social channels.



reporter@thefreepress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Jami O’Neil, Luke Gillespie, Tegan Groenewegen Van Der Weiden and Amanda Mitchell attended the Pride Picnic in the Park. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Pride decorations adorned the Annex Park. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Rainbow flags hung on nearby trees. Soranne Floarea/The Free Press

Just Posted

Kootenay doctor among 82 physicians, dentists calling on province for mandatory mask rule

Open letter says masks should be worn in indoor public spaces, public transportation or in crowds

The Fernie Museum reopens its doors to the public

Among changes, the Fernie and District Historical Society is also forming a new restart committee

Fernie Heritage Library encourages summer reading

The library is keeping children entertained with crafts and scavenger hunts

Whitehorse native Elias joins Michigan-Dearborn Wolverines

Johnny Elias played for the Fernie Ghostriders this past season

EDITORIAL: Editor bids farewell

Editor Paige Mueller will be leaving The Free Press team at the end of July

Airlines dispute Dr. Henry’s claim they ‘very rarely’ give accurate COVID contact tracing info

Air Canada, WestJet say they provide names and contact information

B.C. Appeal Court prevents Victoria woman from using the term ‘death midwife’ in her job

Pashta MaryMoon claimed she had been providing “death-care services” for more than 40 years

‘We all have anxieties’: B.C.’s top doctor addresses return-to-school fears amid COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry promises school restart plan safe for B.C. kids

Abbotsford mom worried about her two kids in Beirut following explosion

Shelley Beyak’s children were abducted by their dad in 2018

Young Canadians, hospitality workers bear the brunt of mental strain in 2020: report

A study by Morneau Shepell points to economic uncertainty in the pandemic as the cause for angst

Health Canada recalling more than 50 hand sanitizers in evolving list

Organization says to stop using products listed, and to consult a health-care professional

Airborne hot dog strikes Greater Victoria pedestrian

Police called to 4200-block of Quadra Street for hot dog incident

B.C. scientist, 63, protests in trees set to be removed for Trans Mountain pipeline

Tim Takaro is reaching new heights as he tries to stall the pipeline expansion project in New Westminster

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Most Read