Chamber Promotes Inclusivity
Glitter, Gaga, And Grins At Annual Pride Trail Event
Youth stuffed their phones and sunscreen into their new neon green #ThinkLocalFirst knapsacks before draping themselves in brightly coloured boas and other festive accessories. Excitement was high as looks were finished with dashes of glitter at the pre-parade dress-up party; the good times kept rolling on Aug. 13th, as Pride Trail welcomed crowds of people downtown for the festivities.
“Pride is the ultimate celebration of togetherness,” says Marlene Noel, Chamber membership manager & executive assistant. “This year and every year, we celebrate all that makes our community so beautiful, so resilient, and so rich with diversity. I think it’s great that the South Kootenay region is becoming even more inclusive and accepting of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, starting with our youth.”
Photo credit: Mike Hockley (above and on bridge)
After connecting with the Trail Youth Action Network, the Trail & District Chamber of Commerce leapt at the chance to get involved with Pride, donating drawstring knapsacks in support of the event that promotes love and inclusivity. Addison Oberg started Pride Trail in 2018, aiming to create a safe space for everyone to find acceptance. The first project, the rainbow crosswalk installed on the Esplanade in Trail in 2019, remains a testament that the region was ready to welcome Pride, as businesses came forward to sponsor the initiative.
“It’s nice to see we have so many supporters in our community,” says Oberg. “It’s amazing for me personally and as an organizer putting my neck out there – these businesses are on my side and ready to support Pride Trail, no matter what. It’s been wonderful!”
For this year’s event, Kootenay Savings Credit Union, the City of Trail, and the Trail & District Public Library sponsored a DJ, Re/Max All Pro Realty Trail took care of a face painter, and Century 21 Kootenay Homes backed balloon decor. The Library also stepped up to purchase the cake and host a by-donation cotton candy stand. The City of Trail was integral in assisting with equipment as well as managing road closures to facilitate the annual parade, which ended at the Esplanade, where the celebration continued.
“This year was a big extravaganza,” says Oberg. “We partnered with Trail’s IncrEDIBLE Farmers Market to make it bigger and better. Vendors sold queer-friendly things or bedecked their tables in rainbows to fit the theme; we had live music, a photo booth, and so much more.”
“The community has been unbelievably supportive; businesses, council, the firefighters – everyone comes together each year to put this on. It’s so refreshing to see Trail take a stand to celebrate diversity,” adds Oberg. “We’re hoping to do more throughout the year to keep the momentum going, and have already had interest and support from businesses who want to help us spread love all year round.”
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