MANITOULIN—After a hugely successful first Pride Manitoulin, the event is back for its second installation of inclusive fun for everyone this weekend, Friday, August 17 to Sunday, August 19.

“We’re going to stick with largely the same program as last year,” said organizer Sarah Seabrook. “We’ve added a meet and greet and Split Rail, which allows people to explore the West End of the Island too.”

Pride begins this Friday in Gore Bay with a Pride Pizza and Beer Social at Split Rail Brewery and Manitoulin Pizza Company from 12 noon to 4 pm.

Back in Little Current, the official flag raising will take place on the waterfront near Little Wally’s Dock Service at 6:30 pm on Friday.

Head uptown to the Manitoulin Brewing Company on Manitowaning Road for a Pride Meet and Greet from 8:30 to 9:30 pm. Manitoulin Brewing Co. will also reveal the launch of its 2018 Pride Manitoulin beer sleeve with 200 limited edition cans on offer.

The Anchor Inn will once again host a queer trivia night from 9:30 to 11 pm, also Friday night. Ms. Seabrook reminds everyone that this is an age of majority event only.

On Saturday, August 18 there will be great workshops on offer at the Ojibwe Cultural Foundation (OCF) in M’Chigeeng starting with a painted paddle workshop hosted by Manitoulin Makery from 10 am to 1 pm. The cost is $45. The OCF will also play host to a drumming circle workshop with Veronica Johnny. This is a free event and lunch will be included.

On Saturday evening, from 7 pm to 12 am, there will be a Pride boat cruise aboard Le Grand Heron in Little Current. The cost is $45 and includes dinner. A cash bar is available for this age of majority event. For tickets, book online at northchanneltours.com.

Pride Manitoulin 2018 wraps up on Sunday, August 19 with a 5K Colour Run at 9 am beginning at the NEMI Public Library on 50 Meredith Street East in Little Current.

Little Current United Church is hosting a Pride service with Pastor Paul followed by the Pride parade at 11 am. Floats can gather at the Manitoulin Hotel and Conference Centre parking lot prior to 11 am.

The United Church will also provide the location for the community barbecue and information session. Ms. Seabrook said Reseau Access Network of Sudbury is once again planning to attend, offering Hepatitis C screening and Naloxone kits.

“We need volunteers, especially for the colour run—this is the thing I’m really losing sleep over,” Ms. Seabrook said. “This would be a great way for high school kids to get their volunteer hours.”

Ms. Seabrook said she realizes how busy this weekend is, with Providence Bay Fair, Rockin’ the Rock and so much more on offer, but hopes people take the time to try and attend as much as they possibly can from all of the events.

“We’re so appreciative of how welcoming the Island has been, supporting inclusiveness—it’s been so inspiring,” she added.

For more information, visit Pride Manitoulin on Facebook or see the ad on Page 7A of this newspaper.