Jerelyn Craden honoured Judy Garland in singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow to kick off the fourth annual Minden Pride Week on Monday.

Co-founder Sinclair Russell spoke about the history of the Pride flag.

Chair David Rankin welcomed people for “the celebration of diversity and inclusion in Minden Hills.”

He spoke of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots in New York City, seen as the beginning of the gay rights movement. He went on to discuss how the Criminal Code in Canada is still not equal for members of the LGBTQ community so “we still have work to do.”

And, with the Minden Pride banner being removed from the bridge in town by unknown vandals, he acknowledged there was indeed still work to be done.

“This week, Minden, we come together as an inclusive and diverse community, to celebrate who we are and to show that we are proud of ourselves, our friends and our family members.”

Ward 1 Coun. Jennifer Hughey thanked the co-founders and the Pride committee for “creating this genuine feeling of pride and sense of community.” She added, “We’re all just looking for the practice of including people who might otherwise be excluded or marginalized … I just want to say happy pride week, be safe, have fun and be kind to one another.”

Monday’s flag raising was followed by a Tuesday movie night and a Wednesday meet and greet. Coming up: Aug. 22, 8-11 p.m. trivia night at the D; Aug. 23, 8 p.m. to close, Drag Experience & Dance Party at the Pinestone; Aug. 24, 4-8 p.m., tea dance at the Dominion Hotel Pub; Aug. 25, 1 p.m., inter-faith church service and 12:30-3:30 p.m. Street fest.

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