Celebrate Your Awesome’s annual Pride festival returning to Alexandra Park this weekend

June 13, 2024   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

A Pride festival will be returning to Alexandra Park on June 15th, featuring live music, a drag show and entertaining performances.

The celebration is now in its seventh year, and it will be the second time it’s being held at Alexandra Park, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. Prior to last year, the event was held on Mill St.

Celebrate Your Awesome (CYA) is the group that’s behind the Pride Festival, and supporting Dufferin County’s LGBTQ community year-round.

CYA committee member Wayne Townsend said the switch in locations is a welcome change, as it creates more comfort for attendees and a more enjoyable environment.

“Being able to sit on the grass instead of pavement… people stay longer, you’re more comfortable. It just works out better,” Townsend noted.

Heather Katz is headlining the festival and there will be live music from 1 to 8 p.m.

There will be two drag shows as well.

Vendors will be set up, providing shopping opportunities to attendees, while the community zone will have LGBTQ-friendly groups raising awareness about their services and programming.

“They let people know what services are available out there for, especially, younger LGBTQ kids. Knowing those services are available is really important. Many actually don’t know they exist.”

Townsend stressed the importance of making LGBTQ youth feel welcome in their home community.

“That’s one thing I’ve always felt here, is welcome, and I want to make sure everybody else feels as welcome as I have been in my lifetime here,” he said.

“It’s easy to be depressed, it’s easy to turn to drugs, it’s easy to feel alone, but there’s a whole community behind them and they need to know that – that we’re here for them.”

Townsend added, “I don’t want them to think back on their childhood as a place where they were not welcomed, not respected and not included – if nothing else.”

One of the main reasons why CYA holds its annual Pride event is to make people who are part of the LGBTQ community in Dufferin County feel accepted and included.

But the event attracts a diverse crowd, according to Townsend, whether it is families, young people or older residents.

“Not only is it about diversity, it seems to attract a very diverse crowd as well, which I really have always enjoyed,” said Townsend.

There will be lots of free food at the festival, with Zehr’s again sponsoring the event. Townsend thanked all the event’s sponsors and those who volunteered to make it a success.

“As usual, we’re just moved by the incredible support of the community behind us, it just blows me away every year. The people who donate who donate their time – it’s remarkable,” he enthused.

Townsend is encouraging people from Dufferin County and the surrounding area to join in on the festivities on June 15.

“Just come and be yourself,” he smiled.

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