Calgary

Airdrie will host its first Pride festival this year

The city just north of Calgary will host a solidarity walk, rather than a parade, and will not feature corporations, participants in uniform, political parties or marketing. 

City north of Calgary will have a what it's calling a solidarity walk rather than a parade

The rainbow flag will be raised in Airdrie as part of its first Pride festival. (The Canadian Press)

Airdrie will host its first Pride festival on June 22. 

The city just north of Calgary will host a solidarity walk, rather than a parade, and will not feature corporations, participants in uniform, political parties or marketing. 

"We have this reputation that small, rural Alberta is not a safe place to come out. And we are trying to allow our community a place to find their own community and we want them to know that it's a safe place to come out, that there actually are people who are ready to embrace them on the other side of the closet door," said Tammy Plunkett with Airdrie Pride. 

The solidarity walk will be followed by a celebration in Nose Creek Park, with activities, entertainment and food trucks. 

Airdrie won't try to compete with its larger urban neighbour, which hosts its Pride festival at the end of summer. 

"We felt it was a great opportunity to have it more than once in a year," said Plunkett.