It’s Going To Be A Virtual Blast For “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” 2020

Since its humble beginnings as a small march of about 100 people in Windsor back in 1992, the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” has become one of this area’s most anticipated cultural attractions each year. It is produced by the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest,” a registered non-profit organization operated by a volunteer Board of Directors.

The annual summer event brings together members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ2S+) community, their friends, allies and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of our community by producing quality, inclusive safe events and initiatives. “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” strengthens the sense of community and contributes to the vibrancy, health, and overall well-being of people in the LGBTQ2S+ of Windsor Essex.

“Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” aims to promote equality and diversity through all of its events. Theatre, music, art, and entertainment are used to raise awareness of discrimination and the issues and difficulties affecting the lives of LGBTQ2S+ people around the world. The week-long festival seeks to unite ALL people in a celebratory atmosphere where everyone is welcome, fostering a sense of togetherness within the LGBTQ2S+ population in our region.

For the past two years the festival has witnessed an explosion of “Pride” at its new home in the heart of Windsor, in Lanspeary Park on Ottawa Street. It has attracted more than 7,500 people in a celebration of diversity and friendship. The traditional Sunday Pride Parade from Argyle Avenue westward down Ottawa Street to Langlois, continues to grow each year, with over 80 parade entries and 7,000 spectators lining the streets in 2019.

“We acknowledge the continued support of the Ottawa Street Business Improvement Association over the past couple of years,” says David Lenz, President of “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest”. “Their members and the Ottawa Street community have shown tremendous support for our events and our community.”

The #1 priority of the “Windsor-Essex Pride Fest” is the safety and wellbeing of its members of the LGBTQ2S+ community. The celebrations have always been a place of love, allyship and compassion, and this year will be no different.

Since the declaration of the global COVID-19 pandemic in March, event organizers have been in ongoing communication with local officials on developing a path forward for the annual festival, while adhering to all public health guidelines.

As a result, Lenz informs us that “After many months, we reached a decision to deliver this year’s ‘Pride Fest’ ‘virtually’ and though we are unable to celebrate in person, we’re looking forward to coming together online, through a series of exciting virtual ‘Pride Fest’ events.”

The virtual festival takes place on August 22 and 23, 2020 and features both local and out of town talent. The agenda includes the traditional Flag Raising ceremony at City Hall where guest speakers, performances, local dignitaries, community leaders come together to show their support for the Windsor Essex Pride community.

There will be a variety of video clips entertainment and, of course, the “Pride Parade” — all delivered in new and innovative ways.

Past festival favourites such as: Sabin, the Bigg Wiggle band, Juicebox, Tony Coates, Boa, Hawaii Goodvibes, Sarah Smith, and many, many more have been invited to participate.

As part of the virtual Sunday “Pride Parade,” participants can submit videos of themselves, their businesses, organizations or groups, showing their support for Pride. Submissions and applications can be made online. All are encouraged to use their creativity and artistic talents to decorate their locations, vehicles, and to dress up.

The virtual festival also features an educational component through working with community agencies to bring some interactive virtual webinars and workshops related to the LGBTQ2S+ community.

Details were still being finalized at the time of writing so be sure to check the website for broadcast times and content of performers and for the full slate of activities.

Finally, any individuals, businesses or organizations interested in assisting in sponsoring or donating to this virtual festival, can find more information online or facebook.

We encourage everyone to tune in on August 22 and 23 to let your Pride show!

In closing, please be safe and healthy, and always observe the mitigation protocols from government and health officials aimed at protecting everyone from COVID-19.

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