This year's Pride Month just came to an end, but the Okotoks Pride Committee made sure to give it a sendoff.
On Wednesday afternoon (June 30,) members of the committee and representatives from throughout the community spent a few hours in the blistering heat painting a Pride crosswalk.
Okotoks Pride Committee member Tom Barker was thrilled to finally see it come to fruition.
"This is long overdue, I think, for the town, for the committee, and for everybody. People have been asking for it for a really long time. On behalf of Okotoks Pride, a big thank you to the town, to all the organizations involved, to the people who showed up to help, it's beautiful."
They certainly had a lot of company throughout the afternoon.
Among the visitors were councillors Tanya Thorn and Matt Rockley, numerous town employees, peace officers, and representatives from organizations like Rowan House and the Okotoks United Church.
For Okotoks Pride, having those allies there to show support was huge.
"When we first started putting this together alongside the town, it was really important to us that ally organizations and queer-focused organizations were a part of this from the very beginning. Really, it's not just about the crosswalk, it's about also encouraging conversation between people, between passersby, between communities and organizations around Okotoks," says Barker.
He says he was pleasantly taken aback by the town's enthusiasm for the project and credited one person in particular.
"They really took charge. I will say a huge part of this happening is Zach Adams with the town. He has been fabulous with this from start to finish. He attended the very first meetings, he took this thing and made it his baby. We are just very happy and blessed to have Zach."
The crosswalk runs across Elizabeth Street near Elk's Hall.
On top of the rainbow that's long been associated with Pride, the crosswalk also incorporates colours included in more recent iterations of the flag.
Pink, white, and light blue represent transgender individuals, and black and brown represents people of colour.
Haley Wray, another member of the Okotoks Pride Committee as well as the Skipping Stone Foundation, says the stripe closest to the Elk's hall is a newer addition to the flag design.
"A new addition this year is another yellow stripe with a purple circle in it to represent and create conversations for people who are born intersex, which is just as common in the world as people who have red hair."
To Wray, having this kind of symbol in town speaks volumes.
"In most places, especially in Alberta, it's definitely not safe for anybody within the LGBTQ community to be out, especially visibly, in their community. Conversations are limited, it can be really tricky, quite often you're put on the outside in a number of ways. The visibility of having a Pride crosswalk, especially when it's being put forward by the town working with local groups, it really says that people are ready to have conversations about this."