CK Pride set for week-long celebration

Blackburn News file photo.

The Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association is celebrating 20 years of diversity, inclusivity, and freedom of expression – all week long.

Pride Week will not include a parade this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic but there will be many events to celebrate the milestone.

CK Pride President Marianne Willson says the board had to make the decision to take a virtual approach to this year’s event line-up.

“There are very few in-person events this year,” said Willson. “We have taken a very virtual approach this year to recognize the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The week will start off with a flag-raising ceremony on August 16 in Dresden at 10 a.m. as well as outside of the Civic Centre in Chatham at 12 p.m.

On Friday, August 20, organizers have planned a virtual drag queen show at 8 p.m. Willson said residents can register by sending an email to frobyn@hotmail.com.

There will be more drag entertainment on Saturday, August 21 at the Chatham library branch. The library will host a children’s storytime event starting at 10 a.m. Registration is also required by sending an email to cklibrary@chatham-kent.ca.

“This year is the 20th anniversary of the formation of the Chatham-Kent Gay Pride Association,” said Willson. “It’s a celebration of all of the things that have come to be in this community. Chatham-Kent has come a long way in the last five years to be more inclusive and recognize the great gifts diversity brings to our community.”

Organizers have also planned a CK Pride bonfire from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, August 21 at 21118 Base Rd. in Blenheim. Special guest, Estella will be providing the evening’s entertainment.

“We are very excited about the wide range of events that are happening all week long,” said Willson. “All of the events are open to anybody in the community – our friends, our family, and our allies.”

The full list of events can be seen on the CK Pride Facebook page.