As Pride month comes to a close, crowds gathered in Lethbridge’s Galt Gardens to celebrate love and inclusivity at the 14th Annual Pride in the Park and Pride Parade.
More than 1,000 people came out to celebrate and Lane Sterr, president of the Lethbridge Pride Fest Society, said that number was not expected.
“I’m just absolutely blown away with how many people are here,” said Sterr.
“I think it’s really important for the Lethbridge community to get together and represent some communities, reconnect and celebrate. It’s a wonderful day to do that,” added Carlie Denslow, who marched with her two pups Louie and Emrie.
It was a special moment for Makaila Pocock as she attended her first Pride since coming out to her family last year.
“Everybody here is just so accepting for who you are and what you can be. I just love the community here,” said Pocock. “Being able to express myself in cosplay, then meet the fantastic people that come here, it’s just an amazing experience.”
Austin Grrr has been celebrating at pride events across the province for several decades. He was happy to see how the festivities have transformed and grown through the years.
“I like that I don’t have to fight or participate, I can actually enjoy the activities,” said Grrr.
“I don’t have to try to make a statement or be political anymore.”
This year, Grrr brought his sister Tracey Byer to her first Lethbridge Pride.
“It’s just important to be here and support everyone,” said Byer. “As they say, love is love and that’s what we’re here for.”
Sterr added that events like these represent freedom.
“Today is a celebration of how far we’ve come as a community, but we’re still fighting and we’re still pounding the pavement. Until we leave this world, this community, better than we left it, we’re not going to stop,” said Sterr.