Starting Tuesday, Medicine Hat will be celebrating Pride Week with numerous events throughout.
“Pride Month is in June, however Pride Week in Medicine Hat has always been the second week in September,” explained Kaleigh McArthur, president of the Pride Association of Southeast Alberta.
McArthur says the week is important for many reasons.
“I think it’s important because we’ve all been kind of locked up for the last year-and-a-half and it’s just going to be a really good opportunity to get our community out, just exploring and experiencing new things throughout the week,” said McArthur.
“It’s about inclusion and progress towards diversity. It’s about bridging all of those gaps and just establishing a strong foundation for our community here and hopefully watching it grow.”
“On Sept. 7 we have an event at the Medicine Hat Public Library, between 4 and 9 p.m.,” said McArthur. “‘The Danish Girl’ will be running first and then ‘Hedwig and the Angry Inch’.”
Hula from the Heart is on Sept. 8.
“There will be a drum circle, meditation, ecstatic dance and hula hoop,” said McArthur. “It will be at the free stage at the Medicine Hat Stampede Grounds between 6 and 9 p.m.”
Sept. 9 brings the White Party at Liquid Events Venue, which is now on the outdoor patio instead of inside.
“Sept. 10 will be our disco,” McArthur said. “That is a tribute to the elders for all of the work they’ve done towards progress in the LGBTQ+ community.”
The disco will also feature several DJs.
“Saturday, Sept. 11 is our big day and it will be taking place in Pioneer Village at the Medicine Hat Stampede Grounds between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.,” said McArthur. “There will also be a pop-up fest down at Medalta also happening from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m.”
Rides will be available from one location to the other from 4 to 6 p.m, made possible by the Sunshine Trolley.
The day will include bouncy castles and a show by Cannonball Knights. There will also be belly dancers, an amateur drag queen show, a roller derby demo and a market of artisan and food trucks. A drag and burlesque show will start at 7 p.m.
The final event is an After Dark Party. Gates open at 8 p.m. and will feature Pineo & Loeb, an award-winning Canadian electronic music duo.
“Honestly I am most excited for the Pineo & Loeb show,” said McArthur. “They’re all going to be such great events. Pride in the Village is something that’s never been done before between the two events. So many people came together kind of last minute to make this happen. It was really cool to watch it evolve. A bunch of organizations just wanted to work together and create something new and cool for the city.”
McArthur says organizers felt it was important to have events spread out on Saturday.
“We’ll be placing signs up that say masks are recommended and we’ll have masks available for people,” McArthur explained. “There’s going to be hand sanitizer everywhere and we’re going to be encouraging social distancing.”
Medicine Hat Brewing released a new beer in collaboration with the Pride Association. Rainbow Dragon will be available at the Medicine Hat Brewing taproom and store, as well as selected retailers. Proceeds will support the Pride Week events.
The full schedule of events can be found online at https://www.pridesoutheastab.com/events.
LAUREN THOMSON, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News