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Colourful Kootenay on display for the 15th annual parade of pride

For years Nelson has hosted a Gay Pride Parade, one of the smallest communities in Canada to do so.

It's been 15 years and now the awkward early years of the event have passed, giving way to heightened awareness and a new diversity that underscores the culture of the Kootenays.

This weekend the 15th annual event returns, with the first ever family day being added to the festivities. For the kids, there will be balloon popping fun, a magician, face painters, potato sack races and three-legged costume racing. For everyone else, there will be live music and entertainment.

Vendors, food, crafts and merchandise will be supplied by the Cottonwood Farmer's Market (West Kootenay EcoSociety) from 3-6 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3. This event is absolutely free and guaranteed to be a fun afternoon.

As well, Baker Street will once again be festooned in rainbow flags as the street merchants compete vigorously to win the best dressed window award.

Other events include:

Meet and greet
Featuring a 'Baddass Tough Drag Competition.' Friday, Sept. 2, 9 p.m., FInley's Irish Pub. With DJ Wannabe cranking up the tunes. Tickets: $5 at the door with proceeds to Nelson Food Cupboard.

Absolutely Dragulous
Saturday, Sept. 3, 9 p.m. to closing at The Royal on Baker. Drag show and 80's dance with DJ Terrentino. Tickets $10 at the door.

Pride Parade and rally
Sunday, Sept. 4, 3 p.m. Marching from Central School to Baker Street and on to Cottonwood Falls Park. There will be a rally at the park to wrap it up at 4:30 p.m. Come out and support inclusiveness and diversity.

Pride book reading
Sunday, Sept. 4, 7-8:30 p.m. at Sage's Tapas, 705 Vernon St. Hosted by Engaging Physicians Project at ANKORS.

Glam Dance
Sunday, Sept. 4, 9 p.m. to closing at Spiritbar with Sugar Coated Killers and DJ Sturdy. Tickets $20 at the door.

Mimosa Monday brunch
Monday, Sept. 5, 10 a.m. at the Hume Hotel. Tickets are $12.95 for a great buffet.