Just after most bouts of rain, the rainbows come out. And it did just that on the Flag Market today (September 9) for the 2017 Preston Pride event – despite last night’s foul weather.Advertisement
Running from 11am until 4pm on the Flag Market, it was feared last night’s rain would – well, rain on the parade. But it didn’t, and the people of Preston came out in force for the LGBT celebrations – just 50 years after “same sex sexual activity” was legalised in the UK in 1967.
With rainbow flags in hand, and some drawn on faces, the Pride event was underway – albeit with a little bit of a slow start.
Walking through the event, there is more than enough to buy and do. Amongst the expected flags, stickers, Hawaiian-style floral necklaces and badges, there’s food, drink, music and an all-round happy atmosphere.
For the best part of 10 minutes, I sat and watched it all go on. A group of people in medieval dress-up sword fighting to my right, countless charities to my left offering advice and the sort of northern banter we’ve grown to expect and love at events such as this. Opposite me, on the side closest to Nando’s and Home Bargains, an area set aside for the children to play with giant Jenga and four-by-four.
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And of course, drag queens aplenty, donning wigs every colour of the rainbow, high heels of a height I wouldn’t think possible to walk in, and makeup to put most to shame. One of these ladies is walking around handing out free packs of sweets and lollies, so if you’re after a fun lunch out with the kids, you know where to take them!
At 11.30am, the crowd was treated to a dance performance by a group present – with gay classics such as YMCA and chart toppers like ‘Shape Of You’ by Ed Sheeran. Of course, the people of Preston danced along.
Lancashire Police have also turned out to show their solidarity, with the popular ‘Policing With Pride’ police car parked on the Flag Market, and countless officers patrolling the area to really make the event a family-fun, inviting and safe space to come and celebrate.
As I walked through, one thing struck me, which I’ve noticed in countless of Preston’s events; despite the rain, the overcast clouds and creeping coldness of Autumn, Preston has still turned out. With smiles as wide as anything, outfits brighter than the sky and attitudes flamboyant and proud, I can safely say Preston does Pride in a unique, awesome and comforting way.
If you’re looking for a day out with your family and friends, head to the Flag Market in town, where Preston Pride runs until 4pm – and if the adults are looking to continue the party, Roper Hall is hosting the official ‘after party’ until 11pm.
Are you at the Preston Pride event? Are you planning on turning up later? Let us know in the comments below.