A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)

A Kelowna Pride Festival 2019 participant holds up a flag. (Kelowna Pride Society)

Kelowna Pride Week begins on Friday

Usually, the event takes place in June, but it was pushed due to the COVID-19 pandemic

Usually scheduled to launch in June, this year’s Kelowna Pride Festival instead will be kicking off on Friday, Sept. 18.

Kelowna Pride Society stated in a release that since March, members were monitoring, planning and rescheduling the festival to make sure it still happened, albeit in a safe way that follows COVID-19 restrictions.

Pride Week 2020 will offer a wide range of festivities, featuring in-person and virtual events and instead of just one parade, there will be three this year: a Pedal Parade, where participants can use their bicycles, a Water Parade for people-powered watercraft and a Vehicle Parade for those who want to drive their cars.

Besides annual favourites including Kelowna’s Next Drag Superstar and the Pride Festival, Pride Week 2020 will also launch the Outdoor Rainbow Market at House of Rose Winery on Sept. 20. Throughout the week, people can expect various other events hosted by Kelowna Pride Society members and other community organizations.

The society has said in an effort to ensure accessibility and to enable community members to celebrate safely, a number of the events will be live-streamed for free.

“Obvious, it has been a difficult year, to put it mildly, and while COVID-19 has presented unique challenges, we were determined to find a way to mark Kelowna Pride Week 2020 in a safe, inclusive and celebratory manner,” the society’s general manager Dustyn Baulkham said.

“The board has been working really hard to find responsible ways to bring the community together, and I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with some special events that ensure we can celebrate Kelowna Pride Week while still being mindful of this moment in history.”

More information on specific events can be found at the Kelowna Pride Society website.

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Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
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