Flag raising tomorrow to mark the start of Muskoka Pride Week

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Once again, all municipalities in Muskoka are raising the Rainbow Pride flag on Monday July 18th to recognize the Muskoka Pride Festival which runs July 15 – 24.

The first Rainbow flags will be raised in Port Severn and Dwight at 9:30. Georgian Bay Township Mayor Larry Braid and Lake of Bays Mayor Bob Taylor will be joined by their respective Councillors, staff, Muskoka Pride board members and the public for the ceremonies.

“Muskoka is a large geography, stretching from Georgian Bay all the way to Algonquin Park,” says Shawn Forth, Muskoka Pride board member. “It is fitting that we are starting our day of flag raisings in both the east and west before making our way toward the centre.”

The vast geography often makes people who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, queer) feel very isolated and alone, Forth explains. “The Rainbow Pride flag is a symbol of inclusion and flying it proudly in rural Ontario communities fosters a sense of belonging and celebration.”

The flag raisings continue at 11:00 with Huntsville and Wahta. This is the first year that Wahta First Nation will be raising the Rainbow flag. At 1:30 Muskoka Lakes Township will raise the flag in Port Carling, followed by Bracebridge at 2:30. The day of ceremonies concludes at 3:15 in Gravenhurst.

Members of the public are invited to attend any of the flag raisings.

The Rainbow Flag symbolizes the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer) community with the different colours representing the diverse groups.

The Muskoka Pride Festival continues with events all week throughout Muskoka. The week concludes on Sunday July 24th with the 8th annual Muskoka Pride Picnic at Annie Williams Park in Bracebridge. At this year’s Picnic east coast celtic-folk singer Irish Mythen will be performing, and the Picnic will also feature a double wedding of same-sex couples from Toronto and Guelph.

For further information about all events, go to www.muskokapride.com or visit the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page. All events are open for anyone to attend, regardless of how they identify.

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