Lancaster city centre will be awash with colour when the city’s Pride festival is held later this month.
Back for the first time in more than a decade, Lancaster Pride includes a march around the one-way system as well as events lasting into the evening along Church Street.
Lancaster Pride is being held this year in aid of Out in the Bay, a local charity providing support to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people in the Lancaster area, as well as raising awareness for LGBT issues and campaigns.
The event kicks off on Saturday May 20 at 11.30am with a march from Dalton Square through the centre of Lancaster, which will follow the one-way system and will have a rolling road bloack for safety and to allow the traffic to flow smoothly.
Mambers of the public are welcome to join the parade as it makes its way around the city.
Although there will not be floats, a fire engine and representatives from the police, NHS, TUC and Lancaster University will be involved.
After the parade, stalls will be open in Dalton Square and speeches will be made.
This will be a non-ticketed event open to all.
“It’s about trying to get as many people to come together as possible,” said organiser Robert mee, who is also the founder of Out in the Bay.
The carnival atmosphere will continue into the evening, when Church Street will be closed off and transformed by entertainers such as circus performers and drag queens.
There will be pink triangles available for people to wear in support of the gay men being persecuted in Chechnya, as well as to support all people being oppressed around the world.
“That is a massive statement of support from us,” Robert said. “In the Commonwealth there are still some countries that execute people for being gay. We are lucky in this country although we are not quite there yet.”
Businesses across Church Street, including Mint Bar, Crafty Scholar, Mollys , D2 and Paulo Giannis and Sphere Bar, have joined together to support Lancaster Pride.
“For the first time I think it should be an exciting event,” said Robert. “We haven’t had anything like this in Lancaster for 11 or 12 years.”
It is now hoped that this will become a more frequent event, and also that a similar event can be organised in Morecambe in the future.
If you would like to get involved with Lancaster Pride, or hold a stall in Dalton Square, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their Facebook page at Lancaster Pride UK.