After a highly successful Pride weekend in June 2022 — including the municipality’s first Pride March — Greater Napanee Pride is ready to celebrate the thriving and inclusive community for the 2SLGBTQIA+ population again this year.
According to a release from Greater Napanee Pride, the organization has proven that everyone can enjoy rural life, regardless of their background or identity. As the organization prepares to celebrate its second annual pride festival, it continues to strengthen the bonds of the community and showcase that small towns like Napanee can lead the way in championing inclusivity and embracing diversity.
“The outpouring of support for our first ever Pride March was truly overwhelming,” stated Greater Napanee Pride Board Chair Chris Beauchesne. “It was an extremely important event to members of the community who have historically been overlooked or unseen, myself included. It was a proud moment to be part of making the once unimaginable a reality in our community.”
Since its inception, Greater Napanee Pride has received overwhelming support from the community, including sponsors, donations, volunteers, and attendees at various events, according to the release. In just one year, the organization has hosted multiple drag shows, an election debate, an open-mic night, and other events providing safe and inclusive spaces for everyone to enjoy. The dedication and passion of the community have made it possible for Greater Napanee Pride to expand its reach and make a positive impact, the organization noted.
“Greater Napanee Pride has had a profoundly positive impact on the community! From events that provide entertainment and a safe space for all members of the Pride community, to the community itself; where I have been able to make new connections and grow my friendship circle,” said Colleen Knapp, a Greater Napanee resident. “Greater Napanee Pride has given me and my partner a safe space to belong and have fun without fear of being judged for who we are. Living in Napanee my whole life, I saw limited opportunities for members of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Pride wasn’t something to show off, we were called the ‘minority.’ But Greater Napanee Pride has shown me that we are no small group and Pride has given us so many amazing opportunities to express ourselves and feel safe doing so. Greater Napanee Pride has been a blessing to the community, myself, my partner, and all those who were afraid to be themselves.”
Greater Napanee Pride has announced a jam-packed lineup of events in 2023, showcasing its commitment to creating an inclusive and welcoming community for the 2SLGBTQIA+ population in the region. This year, the celebrations include the first annual Pitch for Pride baseball tournament, the official flag-raising ceremony, the second annual Pride March, and the highly anticipated Pride in the Country event.
The organization provided the following event details:
Pitch for Pride Baseball Tournament
Date: Saturday, May 27, 2023 Location: Napanee Fairgrounds, Greater Napanee
Greater Napanee Pride invites teams from across the region to participate in the first annual Pitch for Pride tournament. This inclusive event welcomes teams of all skill levels to join in on the fun!
Second Annual Greater Napanee Pride Celebrations
Join us for an exciting lineup of events for the Second annual Greater Napanee Pride celebrations! The festivities kick off on Friday, June 2, with an official flag-raising ceremony at Napanee Town Hall.
Saturday, June 3rd at 11 am is the highly anticipated Pride March in Conservation Park. Participants will embark on a 2 km loop around the beautiful Springside Park.
After the march, we will make our way back to Conservation Park for a lively afternoon party packed with entertainment, local vendors, and children’s activities. A shuttle bus will run from the Strathcona Paper Centre to Conservation Park for parking convenience.
The excitement continues on Saturday, when the Pride March is followed by a lively afternoon party filled with entertainment, local vendors, and children’s activities.
Second Annual Pride in the Country
Date: Saturday, Jun. 3, 2023 Location: Strathcona Paper Centre, “Home Hardware Arena”
With an all-ages show at 5:30 p.m. and a 19+ show at 8 p.m., the incredible DJ Roxy Sunset and our drag performers will entertain you.
“Our year-round events not only promote inclusivity, but also help forge stronger relationships within the community. The organization’s efforts have garnered the attention and support of local businesses, town council members, and residents, which is vital for sustaining and expanding its initiatives,” Greater Napanee Pride stated.
Everyone is invited to participate in these events, showcasing the town’s commitment to inclusivity and diversity and creating a thriving 2SLGBTQIA+ community. For more information, visit their website at www.greaternapaneepride.com or reach out to [email protected].