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Calgary Pride Festival 2016: 11 days of LGBTQ celebrations begin Friday

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, far left, marches with Olympians Samuel Edney, centre, and Shannon Rempel, in the Calgary Pride Parade on, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013.
Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, far left, marches with Olympians Samuel Edney, centre, and Shannon Rempel, in the Calgary Pride Parade on, Sunday, Sept. 1, 2013. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

The 26th annual Calgary Pride Festival kicks off on Friday, featuring 11 days of events celebrating the LGBTQ community.

“Our community has grown and changed over the past 26 years, but the need for Calgarians to stand together to promote and celebrate equality remains important,” Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said in a statement in the Calgary Pride Festival’s Pride Guide.

“We live in a community that understands we are greater together, and Calgary Pride helps to foster and strengthen that understanding.”

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“By participating in Pride in any way – whether it’s joining the parade, watching the music festival or just posting on social media with #YYCPride – you are strengthening this important movement,” Calgary Pride president Stephen Wright added.

To celebrate the Calgary Pride Festival, a rainbow flag will be flown in front of city hall on Friday.

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The Calgary Pride Parade, meanwhile, begins at noon on Sunday, Sept. 4, featuring Grand Marshal Rae Spoon. Organizers said the family-friendly event routinely sees upwards of 60,000 spectators.

To see a complete list of Calgary Pride Festival events you can visit the Calgary Pride website.