The rainbow flag is flying at city hall in Flin Flon, Man., for the first time, in preparation for the community's first Pride parade on Saturday.
"You could just feel the love when you were there. Everyone was hugging, everyone was happy," said organizer Jordana Oulette of the flag raising ceremony.
Around 250 people came out to watch the flag go up at 5 p.m. Friday, including the mayors of Flin Flon and Creighton, Sask.
"It was a huge moment," Oulette said.
The flag raising marks the beginning of Flin Flon's first Pride, months after Oulette struck up a committee to organize it in April. Since then, Oulette said she's only received positive feedback.
"It's bittersweet," she said.
Oulette braced herself for backlash aftersome local politicians refused to attend the first Pride parade in Steinbach, Man., in 2016.
"After seeing what Steinbach went through, I was kind of worried that I would have those hoops and hurdles as well, and I haven't had any pushback at all," she said.
"It just feels like dreamland to me, because we haven't had any negativity."
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After seeing the turnout at the flag raising on Friday, Oulette said she's not worried about the parade on Saturday. But the concerns she'd had earlier show why Pride is important in the community.
"That's the thing … There's still that fear," she said.
People who want to join the parade are invited to meet at the CFAR building at 316 Green St. at 10 a.m., where prizes will be awarded for best float and costume. The parade itself begins at 11 a.m. and will be followed by a community fair from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Oulette said she and other organizers wanted the event to be family-friendly.
"We wanted to do outside the box," she said. "We wanted to do things … where the whole family could come out and have fun, and it's not 'We're going to a gay pride event,' it's 'No, we're going to a community fair to support pride.'"