Pride returns to in-person event

Festival to celebrate diversity to be held at Bovill Square with music and vendors June 4

Perry Rath, Smithers Secondary School Gender-Sexuality Alliance teacher liaison, left at the Pride booth during a previous Pride celebration. (File photo)

Perry Rath, Smithers Secondary School Gender-Sexuality Alliance teacher liaison, left at the Pride booth during a previous Pride celebration. (File photo)

After a two-year hiatus the Smithers Pride is back with an in-person event.

The fifth annual event will be held on Saturday, June 4 at Bovill Square at 12 p.m.

Due to the pandemic, the last two years were done virtually, but this year it will be in person and according to organizers, bigger and better than ever.

“We had a couple of in-person Prides before the pandemic and we felt we had a lot of support from the community for that and we are looking forward to getting back on to that momentum,” said Perry Rath, Pride Society vice president. “We have new involvement this year from different people and groups. For instance, the roller derby club will be there, helping to volunteer and they will do a demonstration.”

There will also be vendors and live music from local artists.

Elijah Q, Simbiyez Wilson, Town Council and the Squash Blossoms are all set to hit the stage.

Perry said it is critical, especially in small towns to have events like Pride.

“I’m a teacher at the high school and youth… and adults who identify as queer are constantly stigmatized and scrutinized and feeling judged and not feeling like they can be openly who they are,” he said.

“We have been working to change that. We have made progress but every year it is apparent there is still progress to be made so it is important to have a clear statement that not only one of acceptance but also welcome our queer community here.

Because we aren’t a big city, there is so much discrimination and lack of resources, so we aim to remedy that and move that along the spectrum to greater visibility and acceptance.”

There will also be an after party at Smithers Brew Co. with three different DJs dropping beats.

That event is 19+.

Pride