Nelson’s streets are going to be dressed in rainbow colours as the 15th annual Kootenay Pride gets going this week.
“I started this four years ago and I could only get about six businesses to put our poster up,” said organizer Don Crowe.
“Now that I’ve been spearheading it for this long we’ve got 28 businesses with full windows in pride colours, so it’s pretty cool to see the businesses doing that and to see the city putting up money.”
The City of Nelson and Regional District of Central Kootenay pitched in for the first family day as part of the Pride festivities.
“We’ve got three hours at the Cottonwood Falls on Saturday in conjunction with the market. There will be clowns, samba bands, potato sack races, and you name it. It’s going to be a hoot,” he said.
In addition to the family day fun, The Royal will be hosting a drag show.
“This year we’re featuring a big drag show at The Royal with DJ Terantino and he brings his own crowd and we have drag queens and kings coming from Calgary and Vancouver,” said Crowe.
The parade has become tradition at Pride events across the world and the Kootenay parade is no exception.
“Last year on the parade day I think we had about 800 some odd people, but I think we’ll have more people out this year because it’s becoming tradition,” said Crowe.
“There’s been a real swell of support from the straight community and just the community in general because I think that the direction that Pride is taking is to be proud of who you are it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight — sexuality doesn’t matter. It’s none of anybody’s business. We demand equal rights not special rights. That really is what it’s about. It’s anybody’s day who is proud of who they are. “
The community will also be showing its pride in a window dressing competition.
“The parade is going to be a little bit bigger,” Crowe said.
“We’ve got a live band playing at Spiritbar. We’ve got a competition for the businesses on Baker Street for a window dressing competition. We have 28 businesses doing Pride windows for the entire week. A lot of the others are just flying flags for the week so the city is going to be festooned with the Pride colours, which is going to be really cool.”
For full details about the Pride schedule visit pride.inthekoots.com