When it comes to building community strength and equality among different demographics of people, there's often nothing better than an annual parade to raise funds and lift spirits. This is certainly the case when it comes to the LGBTQ Community of Edmonton and the annual Edmonton Pride Festival. Through the many events this annual festival puts on in the city of Edmonton each June, the community is brought together through fun and excitement for all. Here's everything you need to know about this year's Edmonton Pride Festival, which is sure to be bigger and better than ever.

The History of the Edmonton Pride Festival

Held annually in Edmonton, Edmonton Pride Festival has strong roots based on the protest movement of a major police raid on a gay bathhouse in Edmonton, Pisces Spa, which occurred on May 30, 1981. On this occasion, sixty men were arrested and charged. Inspiring the play "Uncovered" by Edmonton-based actor Nick Green, this event is seen as major piece of history in the gay community of Edmonton. Held in June each year, the Edmonton Pride Festival is organized by the Edmonton Pride Festival Society. Last year's parade marked the first time in Canadian history that the rainbow flag was flown at a military base, with 2013's pride festival being opened with the raising of the flag at CFB Edmonton, the Canadian Forces Base.

The 2014 Pride Parade Schedule

From June 6th to June 15th this year, Edmonton will once again become coloured with smiling faces, plenty of multi-coloured rainbows, and a plethora of fun and exciting events. The opening of the 2014 Edmonton Pride Festival will be marked by the Fruit Loop on the Square event on Friday, June 6th and followed the next day by the 34th Annual Pride Parade. With upwards of 30,000 people attending last year's event, Edmonton Pride Festival Society is expecting an even greater turnout for 2014.

The parade is then followed by the Celebration on the Square and the Loud 'n Proud Dance. Other events throughout the week include Pancakes for Pride on Sunday, June 8th, as well as the Rainbow Art Gallery and Pride Awards Night and the Womonspace Colour Yourself Proud Dance. The pride festival comes to a close with the traditional and annual Mayor's Brunch on Sunday, June 15th.

Volunteer at Edmonton Pride Festival

The annual event is only made possible through the hard work of giving volunteers. If you're an Edmonton local and are looking for a rewarding and energetic volunteer experience, you're encouraged to volunteer at the Edmonton Pride Festival. For a great and rewarding experience helping the LGBTQ Community of Edmonton, fill out the volunteer application form on their website.

Being involved in community events such as the Edmonton Pride Festival is something that can give you the strongest sense of togetherness with other locals in your city. So take part in the fun this year, and perhaps even opt to volunteer, and understand the true meaning of community and equality while having the time of your life!

Posted by Sarah MacDonald on

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