PLEA Ridge Meadows Youth Services will be having a free Pride Picnic in the Park on Sunday. Contributed

PLEA Ridge Meadows Youth Services will be having a free Pride Picnic in the Park on Sunday. Contributed

Pride Picnic in the Park

The free event is being hosted by PLEA Ridge Meadows Community Services.

The second annual Pride Picnic Party in the Park will be taking place on Sunday.

The event is being hosted by PLEA Community Services, an organization that delivers community-based social, health, educational, vocational and justice services to children, youth, families and adults who have faced significant challenges and barriers in their lives, along with the Greg Moore Youth Centre and Alouette Addictions.

Services at PLEA include volunteer mentoring, youth outreach, school and work, youth addictions, youth justice and youth and adult residential care.

Last year the event was held to celebrate the opening of the rainbow crosswalk along 224th Street downtown Maple Ridge.

This year will be the celebration of the second anniversary of the crosswalk and community inclusion.

“I really think it’s needed in Maple Ridge,” said acting program manager with PLEA Ridge Meadows Youth Services Michelle Cherak.

“We’ve noticed that there really wasn’t any festivity to celebrate Pride and community inclusion in our area,” she said.

Around 100 people attended the smaller barbecue last year and the response from the community was that is should be held on the weekend so even more people could attend.

The free family-friendly event takes place Aug. 13 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. in Memorial Peace Park, downtown Maple Ridge.

There will be a barbecue by donation with hot dogs, chips, drinks and vegetarian and gluten free options available.

Giant board games like Jenga, Checkers, and Connect Four will be set up in the park.

A selfie photo booth with props will be run by volunteers from Alouette Addictions.

There will also be a DJ, face painting and a popcorn machine.

Katzie Chief Susan Miller will be doing an opening drum ceremony and Maple Ridge councillors Bob Masse and Craig Speirs will be in attendance.

Donations from the barbecue will be going towards future PLEA Pride events.

“We are just celebrating Pride and community inclusion and hoping the community comes together to support this wonderful event,” said Cherak.

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