What better way to spend a late summer Saturday than with a picnic in the park?
The second annual Delta Pride Picnic is happening Aug. 31 at Memorial Park in Ladner and organizers are hoping it will be just as fun as — or even better than — the inaugural event, held last year.
“For some in our community who are under the LGBTQ+ umbrella, there hadn’t really been a presence of any kind that we know of for LGBTQ+-friendly events in Delta,” John Darras, a member of the picnic’s organizing committee, told the North Delta Reporter.
“Last year, one of our members with a child who is under the LGBTQ+ umbrella was looking for events and couldn’t find anything happening in the local community, so we thought maybe we should start something to show the LGBTQ+ people in the Delta community some support and inclusion.”
This year, the picnic will be a family-friendly event, Darras says, with plenty of games and activities for all ages, including face painting, live music, fun contests, rainbow-themed arts and crafts, and much more.
Along with hot dogs and refreshments, there will be a Delta Police Department resource tent as well as resource tables and LGBTQ+ educational materials, and a local vintage car group will be showcasing some classic wheels.
During the event, a youth speaker is scheduled to speak at the nearby Ladner Pioneer Library about her experiences coming out, Darras notes.
“We really hope people come and have a good time and maybe learn a little about their LGBTQ+ neighbours or find some LGBTQ+ resources,” he said.
Having recently received non-profit status as the Pride Delta Society, Darras says the group hopes to expand on hosting LGBTQ+ events for all ages moving forward, such as potential monthly events like game nights, networking events or resource nights.
In the wake of two Pride flags being vandalized outside Ladner United Church earlier this summer, Darras posited that perhaps the Delta Pride Picnic may be needed now more than ever.
“We live here – we’re Deltans too and we’re looking for acceptance,” he said.
“We hope our neighbours realize that we’re not that much different than they are.”
It was estimated that more than 200 people came last year’s picnic, and Darras is hoping for the same number or more this year.
With a new sponsorship program introduced this year, some local businesses have even signed up to support the event, he added.
The Delta Pride Picnic happens from 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 31 at Memorial Park, 5010 47th Ave., Ladner.
For those interested in joining, volunteering or sponsoring the annual event, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Delta Pride Picnic page on Facebook.