The rainbow flag symbolizing gay pride was raised in front of Corner Brook City Hall for the first time, kicking off this weekend's celebrations.

Matt Follett, the main organizer of Saturday's gay pride parade, joined two city councillors in raising the multi-coloured flag.

He said he feels it's important to get the flag out there to show that Corner Brook is an inclusive community, and he invited all residents who wish to attend the march to join in.

"This kind of represents the fact that Corner Brook is an open community," Follett said. "They support everyone, all diversity."

About a dozen people gathered to watch the morning flag-raising ceremony. They included Mark Adams, who said it sends out an important message.

"Well it sort of sends [a message] that this is a safe place for people in the gay community to be, that the hate is down, that the discrimination is down, that people should be more tolerant of the gay community," he said

City Coun. Donna Luther called the ceremony "long overdue," and said people need to accept others in the community, regardless of their sexual orientation.

The pride parade is scheduled to begin at noon Saturday at city hall.

More than 100 people are expected to take part in the march, rain or shine, according to organizers.