The city of Williams Lake will be raising the rainbow flag on Monday, Aug. 15.
A flag-raising ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at city hall for the first-ever Pride flag officially flown there and Mayor Walt Cobb will be reading the first ever official proclamation announcing LGBTQ2S+ Pride in the Puddle week in Williams Lake as well.
Williams Lake Pride Society directors, city councillors and Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars will be on hand to recognize the city’s LGBTQ2S+ residents.
“The Williams Lake Pride Society recognizes that this is a major milestone toward inclusivity in our city and is honoured to work alongside the city of Williams Lake to make our community a safer place for all citizens,” said Billie Sheridan, secretary of the Williams Lake Pride Society, in the release announcing the event.
“It’s just a proclamation, the city we do lots of proclamations for events and different people and different groups,” said Cobb when asked what this means for the city.
He cited the good work the group has done in the community and added “we need to support everybody in our community.”
Pride in the Puddle will include a number of family-friendly events. On Aug. 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. the Wiliams Lake Boys and Girls Club will be hosting a Youth Tie Dye shirt night, Aug. 20 there will be Pride in the Park 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. followed by the Pride Parade at 8:30 p.m.
The parade theme will be “Illuminate Your Life” and include lights and music in the evening hours to avoid the hot summer days. It will be starting at 8:30 p.m. and entrants will muster in the Gibraltar Room parking lot and proceed down Seventh Avenue to Oliver Street through downtown Williams Lake, circling back to Boitanio Park where there will be music and a night marketplace for ages 14+ from 9:30 p.m. until 10:30 p.m.
The Pride in the Puddle week will wrap up with coffee in the park at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 21.
“We know that we’re going to be starting small,” said Sheridan about the Pride events, but she looks forward to growing the annual week of festivities in the lakecity.