Downtown Peterborough was decked out in every colour of the rainbow as the Peterborough Pride parade made its way down George Street on Saturday.
The event marks the 15th anniversary of Peterborough Pride and this year, the 10-day festival kicked off Sept. 15 and featured more than 40 events that culminated with the Pride parade.
“This is all about creating space for ourselves and also for the children,” said Culkeen. “One of my favourite things about Peterborough Pride is there are tons of kids running around, and I think of the spaces they will have that I didn’t have growing up and for this, I am very grateful.”
Organizers of the event say Peterborough Pride continues to grow each year. It was back in 2003 when the festival started out as a one-day pride event and parade where close to 300 people turned out.
Now, the celebrations have expanded with even more community events, but the parade has always been the cornerstone event and it continues to draw big crowds.
“The special thing about Peterborough Pride is anyone can walk in the parade,” said Culkeen. “Anyone that shows up to be an ally, to be themselves, can walk. It’s not like you need to be a cool float or anything because you, yourself are a cool float.”
This year’s theme is simply “Out for Good” which represents the need to make sure that everyone is free to live their lives as themselves and not face discrimination at any time.
Chris Jardin is a volunteer on the Peterborough Pride committee and says events like this are positive steps to being a more inclusive community, but more can be done.
“As much as we can celebrate all those advancements in the past 15 years, again, we need to continue to look forward,” said Jardin. “Look into ways we can each participate to make this community a safer, more welcoming place for absolutely everyone.”