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Pride week kicks off in Kelowna this Friday, and the 2019 celebrations are shaping up to be the most exciting yet.
There are the quintessential events, like the Kelowna Pride Festival, but this year a few new and unique things are being added to the mix.
A local drag queen known as Freida Whales, has a few things up her sleeve, including a cruise and a wine tour series.
Freida Whales says that Pride is a time to let the community know that they can be themselves.
"I remember going to my first Pride and how eye-opening it was to be able to see everyone just being free and being who they want to be without feeling judged or oppressed by anybody,” she says.
“It's really freeing, so making sure that even smaller towns have that example for kids so they can come out and see that ‘hey I can actually become a successful queer adult and be okay in society.”
This local queen has been performing in drag for almost three years, and will be participating in, hosting and organizing a few events, including the second annual Drag Queen Story Time and the first ever Pride Cruise.
The story time event will take place at Indigo in Orchard Park Mall on June 15, and will give people the opportunity to hear stories from three drag queens. There will be crafts and a meet and greet afterwards as well.
Freida Whales says that the event last year was a huge success, and was estimated to be the biggest children’s event the store has had in awhile. Click here for more details.
Then, there’s Kelowna’s first ever Pride Cruise —MOIST. Geared towards an adult audience, MOIST will take place on June 22. It will be sailing on a 80+ person, licensed bar cruise around Okanagan Lake.
Attendees will be able to enjoy performances from talented queens such as Ginger Snap, Ella Lamoureux, Valerie Rose, and host Freida Whales.
There will be a competition which will include limbo and dance battles. The winner at the end of the cruise will receive a brand new paddle board. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here.
Freida Whales says she is “super excited” for the busy month ahead.
“Pride is shaping up to be a really good time this year,” she says.
The celebrations in Kelowna have changed from August to June this year, so Pride-goers will be able to avoid having to endure the smoky season.
And, if after all the excitement planned for this month you find that you can’t get enough, Freida Whales is starting up another first-time event in July.
She will be doing Wine n' Whales with Uncorked Wine Tours throughout the summer, and possibly into the fall if there’s enough demand.
You’ll be able to hang out with Freida for the day, hitting up a few local wineries. She’ll be driving the bus in drag and promises lots of laughs throughout the day.
There will be two stops in the morning, then a lunch and a drag performance before Freida drops everyone off. Tickets are available here.
For more information on Pride events going on in Kelowna this month, visit the Kelowna Pride Society website.
For more information on events and performances from Freida Whales, visit her website here.
For a quick guide to Pride 2019 events happening in the city, click here.
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