COLOURFUL OUTFITS, placards and an array of flags will all be present at a huge parade making its way through Newcastle town centre this weekend.
The Northern Pride Festival, sponsored by Barclays, returns from 19 to 21 July, with two sites of entertainment and activities, kicking off with a Bongo’s Bingo launch party on Friday evening.
And on Saturday morning, thousands of supporters, community groups and organisations will gather at the Civic Centre to take part in the Stonewall Remembrance March, sponsored by the festival’s business partner NE1.
A minute of applause will kick start the march at 12pm, with Inspiration Drum Line, a group of young people with disabilities, led by ex-serviceman Nev Latimer, taking pride of place at the front of the parade, having spent the last year learning the drums so they can take part in the festival.
The parade will follow a route down Northumberland Street, along Blackett Street and Percy Street and then onto Claremont Road before finishing at Exhibition Park, which will host the event’s Community Village over the weekend, while the Town Moor will be home to the Festival Arena.
Large groups should register their participation beforehand at www.northern-pride.com and are encouraged to arrive at the Civic Centre from 11:30am to ensure it gets off to a timely start.
Ste Dunn, chair of Northern Pride, said: “The march is one of my highlights of the whole festival and it’s always so affirming to see so many people turn up in the city centre to take part,” said Ste.
“It’s a brilliant way to start the day’s entertainment and we are delighted to have Inspiration Drum Line leading the way this year.
“We had an incredible turnout last year and we are hoping to break another record this year, with an excellent programme planned for the two days for people of all ages to take part in.”
At the Festival Arena, music fans can enjoy big names like Fleur East, Saara Aalto and Liberty X performing on the Manchester Airport Los Angeles stage over the weekend, the Platinum Bar and Garden, sponsored by NuHeat, fairground rides and an array of bars and food outlets.
Over at the Community Village, there will be a whole host of LGBT+ performance art showcased at the Curious Arts Stage, sponsored by video game company Ubisoft, the Family and Youth Zone, sponsored by Tesco and the Health and Wellbeing Zone, sponsored by Co-op, and the Rainbow Village, sponsored by Enterprise Rent-A-Car.
The Bongo’s Bingo launch night on Friday is hosted by Jonny Bongo and features performances from Big Brovaz and Booty Luv, with tickets starting at £22 plus booking fee.
The weekend festival is free to attend but those looking to get a prime viewing position at the Festival Arena and access to the platinum bar and garden can purchase Platinum Passes, with prices starting at £37.71 for one day.
To book tickets or for more information, visit www.northern-pride.com. For more information, search northernprideuk on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.