Wednesday, July 17, 2024

‘Joy and laughter’: Pride Month off to a strong start in Brockville

Photo via the Brockville Pride Facebook page

Brockville’s Pride Week took place from June 3 to 9, and this year’s wide range of festivities started Pride Month off on a successful note, organizers say.

The official Brockville Pride Parade kicked off from Reynolds Park on Saturday, June 8, 2024 where crowds were gathered to celebrate. Taking place concurrently was the “Rainbow Village” Vendor Fair in Centennial Park to showcase local foods, goods, crafts and more. 

Musical entertainment for all ages was provided for the crowds in Hardy Park, featuring drag performers Anje Coxx, Riley Railher and Madison Fear as well as musicians James King and Sinklaira. 

As previously reported by Brockvilleist, the Brockville Public Library hosted its annual Pride Prom for LGBTQ+ youth on June 7. Julia Fansworth, communications coordinator for the library, shared that this year’s event had a great turnout.

“The prom was a fantastic evening filled with dancing, karaoke, joy and laughter, and, most importantly, queer and trans youth being free to be unapologetically themselves in a safe environment. I would also like to give a special shoutout to Brockville Pride for once again donating pizzas this year to keep the hungry youths fed!”

The prom event welcomed a total of 36 young people to the “Enchanted Garden” themed party, and featured special guest performances from local drag artists Ophelia Upp and Freida B.

Ophelia Upp spoke with Brockvilleist and shared that “​the Pride Week shows went fantastic. The drag competition was a sold-out show and the local drag talent came out in full force. We are so thankful that the Barley Mow Brockville is an inclusive, safe space to host our events monthly and annually for Pride Week.

The local performer continued, “It’s amazing to see the youth community members who sat and watched the Pride Day entertainment after the parade from start to finish and cheered loudly for every act that came on stage. They’re the main reason we perform and do what we love.”

The Brockville Public Library also collaborated with Brockville Pride to host their second annual Pride Potluck on Wednesday, June 5. This evening entailed good food and even better company as smiles and laughter were shared among friends and allies. 

Fansworth detailed, “The idea arose from the need in our community to have more dedicated 2SLGBTQ+ events and spaces for adults that are not necessarily centred around alcohol like many 19+ drag shows are. Not everybody drinks or enjoys going to settings like bars, but everyone loves food! The potluck provides a relaxed and communal atmosphere for folks to connect, break bread together and build relationships within their community.”

Fansworth shared that the Brockville Public Library is actually launching a new program this week for LGBTQ+ adults 18 and older.

“This need for adult 2SLGBTQ+ spaces is also why we are a program similar to our Youth Drop-In but for adults. The program is called “Out and About” and will be launching this Wednesday from 5 – 7 p.m. and will continue weekly. It’s a laid back social drop-in event for queer and trans adults to converse, connect, play board games and other activities together in a deliberately inclusive space.`

Photo via the Brockville Pride Facebook page

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