Amherstburg welcomes back True Festival this weekend


Amherstburg is welcoming back an event impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic this weekend.

True Festival is returning, with organizers saying its a great opportunity to get outside, warm your soul to the musical beats, and dance the night away.

The event celebrates Amherstburg’s diversity and inclusivity, with everyone welcome to attend.

This will be the 2nd annual True Festival, as the successful first year event took place in 2020 before the pandemic began.

Mayor Michael Prue says council were happy to support.

"Council approved the event, we think it's going to be a fine time. And everybody I've spoken to who went to it three years ago before the pandemic said it was a wild and wonderful time. I didn't have any complaints at all," he said.

Murray Street and a portion of Dalhousie Street will be closed to cars during the festival.

Prue says events like this help to show that to people in Amherstburg and across Essex County that they are an inclusive community.

"When we close down the streets and we have an Aboriginal day for reconciliation at the end of September, we have days earmarked for children, adults, this is just showing the LGBTQ+ community is welcome too. We just want them to know this is the kind of town we are and will be."

Richard Peddie, owner of Evelyn’s Candy House and True Fest Sponsor, says they enthusiastically support the True Festival and are delighted that it’s back.

"Evelyn’s Candy House’s motto is ‘Life is Beautiful’, and we want it to be beautiful for everyone!”

Prue says the event itself is a show of inclusion, but it also provides an opportunity to bring new people to Amherstburg to show how the community is growing.

"I mean it's right in the downtown core, and they can also see some of the development that's going on. Just up Murray Street a new hotel is being put in, it's only a small hotel of 12 rooms but it's being put in. I can look down the street where Richard Peddie's going to knock down an old green house and put up another hotel. There's all kinds of things happening here," he stated.

The festival takes place in downtown Amherstburg on Saturday, January 28 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

David Lenz, Community Development with Windsor-Essex Pride Fest, says they're proud to be part of Amherstburg’s True Festival.

"Much like our organization’s events and activities, we want to celebrate diversity and inclusion. By working together, hosting events and initiatives like this, we can strengthen the sense of community and contribute to the vibrancy, health and overall well-being of 2SLGBTQIA+ individuals in Windsor-Essex.”

A number of free activities will be taking place, including Fire & Glow performances, s’more stations, street curling, free hot chocolate, glow photo ops, glow igloos, Drag Queen performances, and more.