Superheroes help celebrate Pride Day
Superheroes was the theme for the Oxford County Pride Committee's fourth annual Pride Day celebration in Southside Park on Saturday and there was lots of them on hand at the event, which featured live music, food, games, activities and information about 24 local service providers. JOHN TAPLEY/SENTINEL-REVIEW
Superheroes was the theme when the Oxford County Pride Committee held its fourth annual Pride Day celebration in Woodstock's Southside Park on Saturday.
Batman and Robin, Spiderman and Spidergirl, Deadpool and other notable characters were circulating among the crowd at the event, which included live music, food, face painting, games and activities and information booths highlighting 24 service providers.
“This is our family event,” said Tami Murray, chair of the Oxford County Pride Committee, noting that June is Pride Month. “It's about celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity, dispelling the myths of homophobia and encouraging families to connect.”
She said besides a larger crowd this year, the event had gained more sponsors – including Toyota, TD Canada Trust, London Pride Festival, Unifor and the Fanshawe Student Union – and community partnerships.
Woodstock resident Lacey Watson attended her first Pride Day on Saturday at the request of her son, Kail Watson, 10.
“He came out a long time ago, but this was the first time he wanted to experience (Pride),” she said.
Kail said he was having a good time at the event, including making buttons and a necklace, and that he would like to be there again next year.
“It's fun,” he said.
When it comes to telling people about sexual orientation, Kail encouraged others.
“Don't be afraid to do it,” he said.
Heather Grimshaw of Woodstock was also attending her first Pride Day.
She said she turned out because she had friends there and volunteered to help set up for the event.
“It's fun, except for the rain,” said Grimshaw who took shelter under a pavilion as some wet weather set in.
She said she particularly enjoyed the activities and will make a point of returning to the event next year.
Following the event in Southside Park, Pride Day celebrations moved to Riffs Music Lounge in Woodstock.