Details Released For Muskoka Pride Festival

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Muskoka Pride has announced that July 19th through 28th is the 2019 Muskoka Pride Festival. The annual week of activities celebrates the Muskoka lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community.
This year’s celebration is special, according to Muskoka Pride board member Shawn
Forth, because it recognizes 50 years of LGBTQ+ visibility and progress. “The year
1969 saw two significant events in LGBTQ+ activism. In New York City the Stonewall
riots that started June 28th are seen as the spark of LGBTQ+ activism after decades of police raids and brutality. In Canada on May 14, Bill C-150 partially decriminalized
homosexuality and led to further legal protections.”
This year’s Festival theme is ‘Reflecting Pride.’ “We want participants to take time this
year to reflect on the progress we have made in society in the last 50 years,” explains
Forth, “and also to acknowledge that there remain many marginalized members of the
LGBTQ+ community – particularly transgender and gender-diverse folks, and queer
people of colour. We want our community to commit to working toward full inclusion.”
FESTIVAL LAUNCH PARTY
The Pride Festival week begins on Friday July 19th with the annual Pride Launch
Party in Huntsville at River Mill Park. Over 300 people are expected to attend. There
will be free hot dogs and drinks, live music with Emily Bridle and her band, over 15
vendors and community booths, a music DJ, and many activities for the whole family.
Volunteers from the Huntsville Fire Department will once again be cooking food at the
BBQ.
FLAG RAISINGS
All municipalities in Muskoka will be raising the Rainbow Pride flag on Monday July
22nd. The public is invited to attend: 10AM in Dwight and Port Severn, 11:15AM in
Huntsville and Wahta First Nation, 1PM in Port Carling, 2:15PM in Gravenhurst, and
3:15PM in Bracebridge.
EVENTS
The week will play host to many events across Muskoka. A Pride Church service will be
held at Bala United Church on July 21st followed by a community BBQ in the park. A
community campfire on Wednesday July 24th. The annual mini-golf tournament at
Northern Escapades Mini-Putt in Bracebridge is on Thursday July 25th – families can
play golf between 2PM-7PM for only $2 each. On Saturday July 27th there will be a
Drag Show at Sawdust City Brewery, which organizers expect to be at full capacity.
CONCERTS
On Thursday July 25th the Huntsville Festival of the Arts has The Queer Songbook
Orchestra playing at the Algonquin Theatre (tickets online). The Toronto based group
is a 12-piece chamber pop ensemble, dedicated to exploring and uplifting LGBTA+
narrative through the lens of popular music.
On Friday July 26th, Bracebridge Memorial Arena plays host to Night Fever. Come
and dance to the music of the Bee Gees and Freddie Mercury, performed by North
America’s number one touring tribute band. Fresh off of appearances in the US and
sold-out performances at Toronto’s Roy Thomson Hall, this will be a show you won’t
forget. Tickets are available online for $25
PICNIC and PARADE
The Muskoka Pride Festival will come to a close on Sunday, July 28th with the
eleventh annual Muskoka Pride Picnic and the Muskoka Pride Parade.
The Parade will start at 11:30AM along Manitoba Street (between Anne Street and
Memorial Park), finishing at Memorial Park. Many groups have already signed up, but
there is still time for additional groups to register online at www.muskokapride.com
The 11th annual Picnic takes place this year at Memorial Park in downtown
Bracebridge from Noon – 4PM.
This year’s Picnic will feature live music by local band, “The Dirty Little Swing Thing.”
Local duet “Hot Pink” will play during the band’s intermissions. There will be over 35
vendors and community booths. There will be many children’s activities, including:
Drag Queen story time, Home Depot kids building tent, face painting, and crafts.
The public is invited to bring a lawn chair or picnic blanket as they enjoy this relaxed
afternoon event. Food and beverages will be provided at this free family event. The
Bracebridge Fire Department will be cooking at the BBQ again this year.
Everyone, no matter how you identify, is welcome to attend all Muskoka Pride events.
The Muskoka Pride would like to thank its numerous sponsors, including Festival
Sponsors: The Town of Bracebridge, Boink Boutique, and Delta Bingo & Gaming.
Signature Sponsors: McMaster’s Muskoka, Bala Cranberry Festival, TD Bank, and
Walmart Canada.
To see a full schedule of events go to www.muskokapride.com or click “Events” on
the Muskoka Pride Facebook Page.

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