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Owen Sound Pride parade ready to go

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The community has rallied around Owen Sound's first LGBTQ Pride Parade on Sunday.
Approximately 25 groups and organizations are expected to take part in the parade, which is to also include a festival following the parade.
“We have had a lot of positivity, a lot of good feedback and we have a lot of community sponsors,” said organizer Ryan Brown. “We have the police and the fire in it so it is going to be a very community-based event.”
The event that celebrates lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer culture, pride and people is being organized by the 16-year-old Owen Sound District Secondary School student after he decided it was long overdue in the city.
Brown, who is both a student trustee with the Bluewater District School Board and student senator for OSDSS, discussed the parade with the Grey Bruce Pride group, OSDSS' student council and Gay-Straight Alliance and the area's Pride and Prejudice support group for LGBTQ youth.
He said Wednesday he had expected to get a good response from the community and it has not disappointed.
“We have a really vibrant community and I am slightly surprised that there hasn't really been any negativity come my way,” said Brown. “In general I am not surprised with all the positivity I have seen.”
The parade is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. and run along 2nd Ave. E. between 10th and 7th streets. The parade will be staged between 12th and 10th streets.
Brown said the parade includes mostly walking groups, but a couple of floats as well.
“There are lots of schools that are involved, some businesses and some different community groups that work in either LGBT or other services,” said Brown. “It is definitely a wide variety of groups.”
Businesses along the route have also thrown support behind the event, with some putting up their Pride Parade poster, flying the Pride flag and planning other decorations.
Following the parade, beginning at about noon, the festival will take place in the Bruce Grey Child and Family Services lot at 640 2nd Ave. E. Among the activities are bouncy castles, local musicians performing and food and refreshments.

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