After a scaled down Pride Week last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions caused by it, this year the 1000 Islands Pride's Pride Week is set for a full slate of activities.
Pride Week kicked off on Friday with a Big Gay Prom at Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 92 from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m.
On Saturday, there's a roller derby contest scheduled between Skateful Dead (Kingston) and Bytown Blackhearts (Ottawa) at the Lou Jeffries Gananoque and TLTI Recreation Centre at 1 p.m. Tickets for this contest can be purchased at the door or online. On Sunday, a Pride Flag raising will take place at Town Hall Park at 10 a.m., as well as a flag raising at the Emergency Services at 11 a.m.
"We're really excited," said Sam Crosby, the interim chair for 1000 Islands Pride. "We had quite a few people (attend) last year but it was certainly not the same number we would have had in previous years. So, we're excited at the prospect of having more days on the calendar (for Pride Week this year) and opportunities for people to be involved in different ways."
Other festivities are planned throughout the week, with the final day of Pride Week on July 16.
On Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. vendors will be in the park at Town Hall, and at 11 a.m. a Pride Parade will be held from Gananoque Secondary School to Town Hall Park. Registration is required for the parade.
From noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, there will be live entertainment at Town Hall Park, and from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. a pub crawl for people 19 and older will be held at the Olde English Pub, Maverick's, and the Gananoque Brewing Company.
Tickets for the Big Gay Prom on Friday, the roller derby contest on Saturday and the pageant, slated for July 15 at the Royal Canadian Legion at 6 p.m., can all be purchased on the eventbrite.ca website. All other events are free of charge.
"(For the pageant) you'll be able to meet and greet with all of the contestants before the show even happens," Crosby said. "You can have your pictures taken with them and you can ask questions. It'll be super cool."
For a full list of planned events for Pride Week in Gananoque this year, go to 1000 Islands Pride Inc.’s Facebook page.
(Keith Dempsey is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the Brockville Recorder and Times. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.)
Keith Dempsey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Brockville Recorder and Times