EXETER is to host the largest rainbow flag parade the city has ever seen as part of the biggest lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans celebration in the region.
A 50 metre-long rainbow flag will be part of the Exeter Pride parade down the High Street to Exeter Phoenix on Saturday, March 31.
The Deputy Lord Mayor of Exeter, Cllr Kevin Mitchell, accompanied by his consort, his civil partner Ian Rutland, will start the parade, which will leave the St Sidwell Centre at 11.30am.
The parade will be lead by a fire engine provided by Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service. Firefighters will also be marching in the parade, as will officers from Devon and Cornwall Police. Students from the University of Exeter will also be taking part. Exeter-based Samba band “Street Heat” will provide musical entertainment during the parade.
Representatives from community groups, as well as individuals, will also be taking part in the parade. A road closure will be in operation for the duration of the parade. All the events and activities throughout the day are free of charge and family-friendly. This will include stalls, workshops and same-sex Latin and Ballroom dancing. There will be drumming, Zumba dancing, Burlesque, a legal workshop, trans women's workshop, photographic studio and family creative activities. A discussion session will take place with a panel of invited guests exploring "LGBT representations in the media".
There will be DJs and live bands throughout the evening at Exeter Phoenix. Other events and activities will take place at other venues in Gandy Street, with some events during the preceding week. The Pride event will conclude with a candlelit vigil on the Sunday evening.
Alan Quick, chairman, Exeter Pride committee, said: “This will be Exeter’s biggest pride event and we expect to attract hundreds of people to the city from around the South West and beyond.
“Exeter Pride is a celebration of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. It is about us having pride in our contributions to a vibrant and diverse city, and the city having pride in us. He added: “Exeter Pride is a volunteer led independent project run by a dedicated committee made up of trustees and volunteers.
“The event is totally dependent on grants, donations, fundraising and sponsorship and the committee would like to thank all those who are contributing to make the event possible, including not only those who have made financial contributions but also the volunteers who will be fulfilling a range of roles. It's going to be a terrific pride and we hope everybody comes along, not just members of the LGBT community.”
The first 500 people who attend Exeter Pride will receive a free goody bag.
For further information visit the website: www.exeterpride.co.uk