St. Catharines Pride in the Park festivities an inclusive, love-filled event


Published June 2, 2023 at 12:52 pm

Joining in as the Niagara Region hoisted the Pride flag (proudly) is, from left, St. Catharines Mayor Mat Siscoe, St. Catharines councillor Laura Ip, Pelham councillor Diana Huson, Regional Chair Jim Bradley and St. Catharines councillor Haley Bateman.

It’s 10 and a half hours of love, acceptance, comradery and you know even Mother Nature is wearing her rainbow shirt because it’s going to be 24C and sunny all day long for the 10th Annual Pride in the Park Festival at Montebello Park in St. Catharines on June 3, starting at noon.

“PITP2023 is an outdoor festival with 2SLGBTQ+ entertainment presented by Niagara Casinos,” said organizers Pride Niagara of the event that runs until 10:30 pm.

“With amazing live musical acts, drag performers, family friendly activities, food/merchandise vendors, a licensed area and more!”

The group is bringing in the winner of Canada’s Drag Race Season Two, “the iconic Icesis Couture and the world-renowned choreographer and RuPaul’s Drag Race season six breakout star Laganja Estranja” with both stage performances followed by a Meet & Greet.

In the meanwhile, St. Catharines politicians have been fighting hard against the hate-filled anti-Pride sentiment that’s getting more vocal these days.

Said Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, “When we raise the Pride flag, we are recognizing our shared values of inclusion, tolerance, and acceptance. We are saying that everyone has a place in our society and everyone’s contribution is valued.”

St. Catharines Mayor Matt Siscoe, who letting Pride Niagara chair Enzo De Divitiis take over his Instagram tomorrow during Pride in the Park, noted recently, “Members of the LGBTQI2SA+ community — especially people of color and trans people — continue to face discrimination and persistent efforts to undermine their human rights.”

He called on residents to “Call out homophobia, transphobia, and biphobia wherever you see it. Support businesses or other initatives owned or operated by LGBTQI2SA+ people. Seek out books, articles, films, etc. about the history and current issues facing the LGBTQI2SA+ community.”

“Pride Month brings St. Catharinites together to celebrate the history, courage and diversity of our LGBTQI2SA+ communities. St. Catharinites are encouraged to reach out, connect to support each other and celebrate together.”

St. Catharines Regional Councillor Laura Ip, who recently called out the Niagara Catholic District School Board after two trustees put forward a motion to reverse the 2021 decision to fly the Pride flag, said it’s a matter of staying the course and pushing forward at the same time.

“We must do more than paint crosswalks and raise flags, and we also must paint crosswalks and raise flags. Gender- and sexually-diverse people and communities are under attack. We must stand with them. Everyone deserves to live proudly as who they are.”

She noted on June 1, the first day of Pride Month, “Attending flag raisings today fully aware that we must be taking action toward inclusivity for gender- and sexually-diverse communities all year long… and we still must fly the Pride flag every June.”


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