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First-ever Pride event held in Alliston

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As Pride month events continue throughout the region, on Saturday, the festivities were extra special in New Tecumseth.

It was a historic day for the LGBTQ2S+ community in Alliston as it held its first-ever Pride event, giving organizers a sense of real accomplishment.

"(I'm) very, very proud," said Chloe Knauer, who helped to organize the Alliston Pride.

Knauer transitioned a year and a half ago after suffering a stroke, helping her to feel more comfortable in her skin. During that time, she noticed a growing need to provide better support to young LGBTQ2S+ community members in her hometown.

"The sad stories that I heard from parents of gay kids that did not feel welcome anymore after high school," she said. "They would leave to Toronto or wherever else to find community."

Through collaboration with the Krasman Centre and other community partners in Alliston, Knauer found others with the same goal.

"Once we learned that there really isn't anything happening in this area in June, we wanted to put something together so that maybe we can start something," said Cathy Marengeur, the Krasman Centre's Executive Director.

A block of Paris Street was closed for live music, a barbecue, and other community groups supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community. 

" It's amazing to bring the community together," said Milena Daoi, Krasman Centre Outreach Member. "The pride community needs a voice up here, and we're able to provide that."

A huge crowd also gathered at Couchiching Beach Park in Orillia for the City's Pride festival on Saturday, marching through the streets for its Pride parade.

Muskoka and Collingwood will hold their Pride festivals in July.

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