Bikes, sunshine, pizza and inclusivity, what could be better?
The Bike March and social for Pride week in Kelowna is the latest in a series of successful events put on by Kelowna Pride.
The bike ride started in downtown Kelowna, cruised along the waterfront, ending at Jack Knife Brewing for a pizza-fueled social event.
People were excited to be out at the event after they had been cancelled or scaled down for the past few years due to the pandemic.
Jade St.Marie and Madi Koch were among many celebrating their first pride week and said that they were excited to be out and included in Kelowna’s queer community.
“The queer community needs visibility,” said Kelowna Pride Board President, Fahmy Baharuddin.
He said that events like the bike ride are important because it fosters normalization and acceptance in the community.
“We are here and we exist,” said Baharuddin.
“The bike ride had far more participants than anticipated,” said Baharuddin.
He explained that as people just kept rolling up to the meeting spot, he even started to worry that they would run out of bike parking at Jack Knife.
“There is not a lot of obviously queer presence in Kelowna,” said one cyclist.
The cyclist also stated that obviously, the members of 2SLBGTQIA+ community are here, gesturing to the proud folks waiting for a slice of pizza, but in Kelowna it can seem like there aren’t many other members.
Naomi Woodland said that pride is important because it reaffirms how important it is to have spaces where everyone is visible. She noted that she was impressed with the ethos of Jack knife Brewing and how inclusive they are as a company.
“Having equity and diversity at the center of organizations is important,” said Woodland.
Baharuddin, said that everyone is welcome at all of the events.