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Rainbow crosswalk painted in downtown Calgary for 2016 Pride festivities

Pride flag raised at McDougall Centre for the first time
WATCH ABOVE: The crosswalk in front of Calgary’s city hall is painted, and for the first time the pride flag has been raised at McDougall Centre. All signs that Calgary is celebrating 2016 Pride. Bindu Suri reports.

A rainbow crosswalk was painted in downtown Calgary on Thursday night in celebration of the 2016 Calgary Pride Festival.

It’s the second year Calgary has hosted the colourful creation; last year a Pride crosswalk was painted in the intersection of Macleod Trail and 8 Avenue S.E. in front of City Hall.

This year, the rainbow crosswalk is located in the intersection of 8 Avenue and Centre Street, near the Calgary Tower.

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READ MORE: Calgary Pride Festival 2016: 11 days of LGBTQ celebrations 

Initially, Calgary Pride feared there wouldn’t be enough money to create the crosswalk this year, as $4,000 was needed to make the project a reality.

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However, the organization’s concerns were quickly put to rest thanks to the creation of a GoFundMe page which raised more than double their $4,000 goal.

“I think it speaks volumes,” Craig Sklenar with Calgary Pride explained. “This rainbow is a visual representation of our diversity here in Calgary.”

“It gives people hope, it gives people an understanding that they’re not alone.”

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According to the GoFundMe page, the extra donations will go towards “supporting a more permanent representation of Pride” in Calgary.

The Calgary Pride Parade 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.

With files from Bindu Suri

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