Whether at farmers markets, general stores or on the main street of Minden, there’s a good chance you’ve seen Minden Pride’s colourful “Pridemobile” as it toured the County this summer.

Now the group is finalizing preparations for its annual Pride Week, to be opened with a flag raising in downtown Minden Aug. 23.

“There’s starting to be a lot of excitement. I think there’s been a pent-up demand to get out and do things now that restrictions are lessening there’s a lot of people that are very interested,” said Minden Pride chair Allan Guinan.

This year’s theme is “proud and hopeful,” celebrating diversity and inclusion.

“We’re very proud of what we have achieved in terms of the six years we’ve been building and growing this event,” Guinan said. “We’re also really hopeful coming out of this global pandemic. It’s making people realize the importance of being kind to everyone.”

This year’s events include a scavenger hunt, trivia, movie nights and even a “Float Down the Gull with Pride” physicallydistanced river parade.

Guinan said a highlight of the week will be the dedication of a bench established in memory of Sinclair Russell, Minden Pride co-founder, on Aug. 27.

“We’re just really thrilled to be able to have people out to recognize Sinclair’s involvement in building Minden Pride initially and evolving it into an important event to the community.”

Alongside the dedication, people will pay tribute to Russell in a video played later that day.

In advance of Pride week, the Pridemobile has been a mobile way to store merchandise and spread awareness.

“It’s just kind of a very perspective of us staying positive out there in the community,” Guinan said. “COVID and the pandemic has squashed a lot of what we were hoping we could get done but we’ve got a lot of positive energy.”

Bob Fisher, a member of Minden Pride, plans to add an international perspective to this year’s events.

He’s a representative of Rainbow Railroad, a global not-for-profit which helps LGBTQI+ people who are persecuted around the world.

“You can’t believe the kind of discrimination and hatred that’s going on,” he said.

The organization raises money to relocate persecuted people, often teenagers; that’s a cause he connected with. “That’s where I want to spend my charity money that’s my people.”

Fisher will be sharing information about donating and getting involved with Rainbow Railroad initiatives throughout the week.

Minden Pride week runs from Aug, 23-29. For a full schedule of events visit mindenpride.ca.

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