Large Crowd for Pridefest Flag Raising

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The Pride flag has been raised at Charles Clark Square to signal the start of PrideFest 2019.

More than a hundred people came out to see the event Wednesday afternoon. 

There are events planned over the next four days, highlighted by the annual parade at 11 a.m. Sunday beginning at Ottawa Street and Argyle Road before ending at Lanspeary Park.

PrideFest President David Lenz says the event is marking its 27th year and a lot of growth.

"From when it started in 1992 with a hundred people in a little alley off Wyandotte St. to grow into over 6,500 people last year, so just a huge, huge number.  I'm very proud of what we've done to bring the community together."

This is the second year PrideFest is on Ottawa St and Lenz says a lot of neighbours knew Pride was happening but weren't sure what it was about.  

"They actually came out on the Friday and Saturday night," he says.

Ward One Councillor Fred Francis says PrideFest sends a message about Windsor.

"You've got friends, you had neighbours, you had everybody.  That really is an indication of how far we've come and there's more work to be done.  But Windsor, I've always felt, this was a very welcoming place for all people.  And anything I can do, anything city council can do to make that happen, and make it an even more welcoming place, well sign me up."

In addition to dozens of local sponsors including AM800, PrideFest has received a federal heritage grant of $37,000.

W.E. Trans Support is holding a workshop that looks at gender and sexual diversity as well as mental health and addiction at 1 p.m. Thursday at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts. There is also Pride Bowling at Rosebowl Lanes at 6:15 p.m. Thursday as well as Pride Bowling After Glow at 9 p.m. at the Windsor Sportsmen Club. 

Friday's list of events includes Pride Lawn Bowling at the Windsor Lawn Bowling Club at 6 p.m. as well as live music at Lanspeary Park and more music and entertainment at the Rockstar Music Hall. 

On Saturday, there is a Pride Marketplace from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Lanspeary Park.

There is also a 'Queens of Pride' show at Lanspeary Park at 8 p.m. and Glitterball at 10:30 p.m. at Rockstar Music Hall.

A full schedule of events is found at https://www.wepridefest.com