The Airdrie Pride Society’s (APS) celebrations in June will look very different this year.
Last year’s inaugural event saw more than a thousand people fill Nose Creek Park with rainbows, smiling faces and feelings of inclusion.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all mass gatherings for the summer have been cancelled so organizers are switching gears to continue the celebrations in a different way.
“Our goal for 2020 Pride in Airdrie is to continue to encourage inclusion, social closeness and support while maintaining physical distance to ensure the safety of everyone in our community,” said Kiersten Mohr, president of the APS.
The society is spearheading the Pride on Your Porch initiative and contest by asking residents to display rainbows on their front porches, in windows, on driveways and in any other way they can in the front of their homes to “recreate last year’s collective sentiment that every individual is valued, safe and deserving of space in our city.”
“As I began to realize that this year’s festival was going to have to take on a different form, I was heartbroken,” said Mohr.
“Never underestimate the power of putting up a rainbow on our porch or writing a message in chalk of love and inclusion on your sidewalk. Every single part of me is hoping that if we can all do that, then anyone who may not be feeling that connection yet is going to be able to walk through their neighbourhood and see a rainbow, or at least one sign to let them know that they are not alone.”
Mohr said APS will be reaching out to local businesses to see if there are ways they can work together to promote Pride throughout local companies in the city. This year, APS is not looking for sponsor donations, but rather, the objective is to support and promote inclusive Airdrie businesses during this challenging time.
Whether it be a Pride-themed menu item, a rainbow window display, or countless other Pride-inspired ways to celebrate, APS wants to encourage Airdrie businesses to “share the love” in the hopes residents will return the favour by purchasing their products and services.
“There will be lots of fun opportunities for individuals, families, businesses and organizations to help us spread love, inclusion and acceptance throughout the city,” said Mohr.
“Like last year, the most impactful aspect of the day was the incredible numbers of people that came out to celebrate, support, smile and show love. While we have to do that a little different this year, we still need everyone’s help!”
APS we will also be working the City of Airdrie to ensure that June is recognized as Pride Month in Airdrie and a Pride Flag flies throughout the month. Additionally, the society has requested that City Hall is lit up in the Pride colours to recognize the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots on June 28.
To take part in the Pride on Your Porch contest, send a photo to the APS Facebook page with the hashtag #AirdriePrideOnYourPorch!