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Kelowna’s Pride Week approaching amid pandemic

Kelowna's Pride Week begins on Sept. 18, 2020.
Kelowna's Pride Week begins on Sept. 18, 2020. Kelowna Pride Society

Countless events and festivals have been cancelled due to COVID-19, but one festival plans to go ahead as planned after being delayed for months.

The coronavirus will not take Kelowna’s Pride away.

“It has been a difficult year, 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,” said Dustyn Baulkham, the Kelowna Pride Society’s general manager.

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The Kelowna Pride Society said staff have been monitoring, planning, rescheduling and working to ensure Pride week remains an official part of Kelowna’s collective 2020 calendar.

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With Kelowna’s Pride Week on the horizon, organizers are hoping people will come together for an “inclusive and safe celebration.”

“The board has been working really hard to find responsible ways to bring the community together,” said Baulkham. 

“I’m proud that we’ve been able to come up with some special events that ensure we can celebrate Kelowna Pride Week 2020 while still being mindful of this moment in history.”

The festival will run from Sept. 18 to 27 and will have a wide variety of online and in-person events.

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“There will be three parades this year. In a historic first for Kelowna, there will be a pedal parade (bicycle) on Sept. 22, a water parade (people-powered watercraft) on Sept. 23 and a vehicle parade on Sept. 24,” Baulkham wrote in a release.

Organizers said in an effort to increase accessibility, a number of events will be livestreamed online.

Following last year’s Pride celebration, which was the largest to date for Kelowna, Pride Week 2020 was rescheduled from its original dates in June due to the pandemic.

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Organizers hope people feel safe enough to head out and participate.

You can find out more about the celebration here.

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Back to school: COVID-19 safety orientation first up for Okanagan-Skaha Grade 9 students