York Pride’s seventh festival and parade was the biggest yet and support far exceeded expectations, organisers said.
Thousands lined the city’s historic streets from York Minster, all along the route to York Knavesmire on Saturday (June 9).
York Pride is not just a celebration of the LGBT community but also a chance for the charity to raise important issues.
Connor Briggs, York Pride press and marketing officer, said a key message for the event this year was “Flag It Up”.
“Hate crime is something we all need to report. We’re using the theme ‘flag it up’ to raise awareness and tell people if they have a bad experience they should flag it and report it to the police,” he explained.
‘York is really brilliant’
Live music by British R&B girl group Cleopatra entertained this year’s crowds at York Racecourse alongside Britain’s Got Talent star Danny Beard and The Cheeky Girls.
Connor said he had been overwhelmed by the support from York and its businesses:
It’s hard to put into words how we feel. This event has attracted support like no other. York is really brilliant at getting behind things.
The first large scale York Pride took place in 2011. Connor admitted York was perhaps a little late getting its celebration of the LGBT community off the ground.
He added: “The event is well and truly on the map now though and it feels like its been going for a lifetime. We want people to enjoy the day and everything that is good about it,” he said.
York Pride has already been recognised for the work it has done for the advocacy of equal rights and for the cultural contribution it makes to the local community.
In 2016 York Pride won Best Community Project in the York Community Pride Awards and in 2017 was a finalist for Best Cultural Event or Festival at the York Culture Awards.