Williams Lake will be hosting its first pride parade.

The Williams Lake Pride Society will be presenting the first ever Pride! in the Puddle event that will begin with an inaugural parade and be followed with further family-friendly events in Boitanio Park on Saturday, July 27.

“We’re so excited,” said acting president Brittany Cleminson.

“Obviously there is always some bad with the good, but overwhelmingly the community response has been super positive. We’ve had so many great local groups and organizations already approach us about partnering. We’re so excited to offer this because it’s long overdue.”

With pride in Quesnel and Kamloops, Cleminson asked where has Williams lake pride been and added that the Society is here to provide that.

“I think that there are a few reasons it’s so important to do it,” Cleminson said.

“The first reason that it’s important to do it is to really show LGBTQ community members that there are people behind you, there’s a community here, there’s a support network that exists. Often we find that LGBTQ services in Williams Lake and the Cariboo they’re stretched thin, so it’s really for us to go out there and make our presence known.”

“It’s also really important to us because of just where we are in the world,” she added.

“We often take for granted some of the freedoms that we have. Here we can go out and organize a pride parade and some places you can’t do that and it wasn’t so long ago that the first pride was a protest and homosexuality was a criminal offense in Canada, so it’s important to have these events just to keep the conversation going and make sure that there’s always forward progress.”

(Editor’s Note: Listen to Brittany Cleminson talk about Pride! in the Puddle in the audio file below)