While our poll results didn't show it, the response to Airdrie’s first Pride Festival was impressive.
The reporter we sent to the solidarity walk said the number of people gathered at City Hall for the event overwhelmed him.
At Sorso’s Drag Night, the venue reached capacity well before the scheduled start of the show, and the excitement of the event was felt immediately upon entering the restaurant.
Perhaps, though, the most significant part of Pride was the joy throughout the city during the celebrations. Participants in the solidarity walk, though emotional at times, produced an euphoric atmosphere as they stood together to publicly acknowledge the LGBTQ2S+ community and the impact it's had in Airdrie.
Attendees at Drag Night were in celebratory spirits and decked out in rainbow apparel, greeting strangers – like our reporter – as old friends. And, once the show began, they eagerly cheered on the drag king and queens who put on one heck of a performance.
The response to Pride is significant not only to those in the queer community, but to our city as a whole. Airdrie has long had a conservative reputation, welcoming only to those who share similar beliefs. This event challenges that in a big way, and is particularly important as an upcoming City council agenda item is a request to recognize “the straight community” with “equality” – a term suggesting this majority community is being somehow repressed.While we believe in fair and equal opportunities for all, we hope this group doesn’t undermine the massive accomplishment Airdrie just achieved.