Celebrate Your Awesome holds annual Pride celebration

June 20, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

Pride is alive and well in Dufferin County.

Celebrate Your Awesome (CYA) held its seventh annual celebration of Pride and diversity on June 15. The event was again held at Alexandra Park, after moving to the new location for the first time last year. It was previously held along Mill St. in Orangeville.

Wayne Townsend, CYA committee member, said the event was well attended by a diverse group of people and brought out a lot of families.

“It was extremely family friendly,” said Townsend. “I’m glad to see my town doing what it’s doing. The music was great. All the acts were very different, but all very good.”

CYA’s event featured drag performances and a drag queen story hour, held in partnership with the Orangeville Public Library. Live music was enjoyed as well, with Heather Katz headlining.

“I think my favourite performance was the Orangeville Chorus,” Townsend said. “All those ladies up there with a little pride necklace, singing their little hearts out, makes you feel good. The younger generation, I talked to several of them, and they were so pleased that this group of older ladies would come and sing at the Pride Festival.”

The Community Zone at CYA’s Pride event featured several organizations that provide support to those who identify as LGBTQ.

Townsend said the event was great for allowing LGBTQ people to feel safe, secure and accepted.

It was an uplifting experience for many.

“We certainly saw a lot of people expressing themselves openly and it was really great,” Townsend noted.

As a CYA member, Townsend was in charge of cleaning up any garbage left behind after the Pride event, but he said, fortunately, he didn’t have much work to do.

“When we left, there was hardly anything on the ground, which tells me a lot about the people who attended,” he said.

The day after CYA’s Pride event, Westminster United Church in Orangeville, held a Pride church service, affirming its commitment to welcoming everyone.

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