The first ever official Pride week was kicked off in Williams Lake on Aug. 15 with the raising of a Pride flag at city hall.
This is the first time the Pride flag has flown at city hall in the lakecity and Mayor Walt Cobb read an official declaration of Pride week from the city and presented the framed declaration to the Williams Lake Pride Society.
The ceremony was attended by many supporters, media, city councillors and Williams Lake First Nation Kukpi7 (Chief) Willie Sellars.
“This is a long time coming,” said Billie Sheridan, secretary and spokesperson for the Williams Lake Pride Society. “I’ve been up since four o’clock in the morning with a big smile on my face.”
Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb read the city’s official declaration of Aug. 15 to 21 as Pride week in the lakecity.
Sellars also spoke before singing and drumming the Honour Song.
He called it a step forward for the community.
“Everybody is equal in our eyes.”
Sellars also celebrated the amount of support local Pride events have had in the past, as well as the businesses which have put their support behind Pride in the Puddle.
While Covid had put a damper on previous years’ Pride festivities, Sellars said declaring an entire Pride week is “going to kick the doors off.”
While Sheridan said she expects this year may be small, she added, “Everything starts small and gains.”
This week’s activities will include a youth tie dye shirt night Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. hosted by BGC Williams Lake followed by the the main celebration Saturday.
From 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 20 will be Pride in the Park at Boitanio Park, with games, information booths and music followed by a Pride Parade at 8:30 p.m. with the theme “Illuminate Your Life” in downtown Williams Lake.
The group will meet up back at the park from 9:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. for music and a night marketplace for those 14 years and older.