Photo credit: CanStockPhoto.com/Corund
Roll Out the Pride Carpet for the 25th Annual Windsor-Essex Pride Fest
The 25th annual Windsor-Essex Pride Fest kicked off on August 9, 2017 at City Hall with the traditional flag raising ceremony with Mayor Drew Dilkens. Also in attendance were MPPs Percy Hatfield and Lisa Gretzky, along with business dignitaries and community leaders and members.
The festival takes place Thursday, August 10 through Sunday, August 13, 2017 and is packed full of terrific events held at various locations throughout the city with main events concluding at Riverfront Festival Plaza in Downtown Windsor.
“The LGBT+ movement has come a long way since it started in 1992 and we are thrilled to put together so many exciting activities for the community to enjoy. This week’s events highlight the advances made for the LGBT+ community, the support of its allies and to showcase Windsor-Essex as a wonderful region for guests to visit.” – David Lenz, President of Windsor-Essex Pride Fest
When asked why the group feels there is a need for a flag raising and festival, Lenz responded, “No one should be vilified simply for being who they are. Sadly, there are still issues in the community and around the world to overcome and events like these show how we stand united to confront those issues.”
The anniversary will also be recognized by Caesars Windsor where the casino will be lit up in the Rainbow colours beginning the evening of Wednesday, August 9 through until Sunday, August 13.
On Thursday, August 10th at 7 pm, Windsor-Essex Pride Fest is offering free bowling at REVS Rose Bowl on Dougall Avenue. Friday, August 11, 2017 features multiple events including Pride Lawn Bowling at the Windsor Lawn Bowling Club at Jackson Park, an alcohol free event called Untoxicated to be held at the Pride Fest office starting at 7 pm and Glitterball which will be held at The Rondo beginning at 9 pm.
Pride Marketplace is a free event on Saturday, August 11 from noon until 6 pm at Riverfront Festival Plaza. The event features over 35+ vendors, inflatable rides, face painting, a Home Depot Craft table, youth arts tent and much more.
Saturday night hosts a circus themed dance party, also at Riverfront Festival Plaza starting at 8 pm. Called Glow this is the best dance party of the year and will feature Toronto DJs Kevin Bailey and Josh Karmin along with Sofonda and her dancers, and theatrics by Windsor Circus School.
The weekend culminates on Sunday starting with the annual parade down Ouellette Avenue at Elliot starting at 11 am. The parade runs down Ouellette and into Riverfront Festival Plaza, where legendary Detroit performer Sabin will MC and host a variety of talent including Nikki & The Dirty Elizabeths, Sarah Smith, and many other performers.
The events of the 2017 Windsor-Essex Pride Fest are scheduled as follows:
- Pride Family Bowling: Thursday, August 10 7 pm Rosebowl Lanes
- Pride Lawn Bowling Friday, August 11 6 pm Jackson Park
- Untoxicated Friday, August 11 7 pm Pride Fest Office
- Glitterball Saturday, August 11 9 pm The Rondo
- Pride Marketplace Saturday, August 12 11 am-6 pm Riverfront Plaza
- The GLOW Party Saturday, August 12 8 pm-1 am Riverfront Plaza
- Pride Parade Sunday, August 13 11 am Downtown Windsor
- Pride Day & Marketplace Sunday, August 13 Noon-8pm Riverfront Plaza
Windsor-Essex Pride Fest is a non-profit organization incorporated in the Province of Ontario, run by a volunteer Board of Directors. The organization brings together members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Trans, Intersex, Queer, Questioning and Two Spirit (LGBTIQ2S) community, their friends, allies and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of our community by producing quality, inclusive and safe events and initiatives to celebrate. Windsor-Essex Pride Fest strengthens the sense of community and contributes to the vibrancy, health and overall well-being of persons in the LGBTIQ2S of Windsor-Essex. The Windsor-Essex Pride Fest aims to promote equality and diversity through all of its events. We use theatre, music, art and entertainment to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBTIQ2S people around the world.