Northumberland’s first Pride march and festival are being staged this weekend.
The events in Alnwick aim to celebrate and raise the profile of the county’s LGBT+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) community.
Saturday’s march will take place from the Market Place – meeting at 11.30am and starting at noon – and proceed to the town’s rugby club for the festival.
The procession will be led by the Northumbria Police LGBT+ car, Co-op Funeralcare’s rainbow hearse and North-East-based female drumming band, the Bangshees.
The free-to-enter festival will run from 1pm to 6.30pm, and will feature a variety of live music performers, including headline act, Niki Evans. The X Factor finalist and West-End star is set to perform at about 5.45pm.
There will also be community-focused stalls providing information from local organisations and the LGBT+ services they offer, as well as health/wellbeing zones and a family and youth marquee.
Following the festival, Alnwick’s Blue Bell Inn will host an after-party from 7pm.
Northumberland Pride committee chairman Lorna Stewart-Hook, who recently received an Alnwick Mayor’s Civic Award for her efforts to organise the events and promote LGBT+ culture, said: “We have been overwhelmed with the support which has been given to Northumberland Pride already and we are so excited to finally get a visible LGBT+ presence in Northumberland.
“We hope you will join us for this historic event celebrating how far we have come as a county, where we are today, and where we still need to do some more work.”
For the march, groups of four or more we will need to register in advance at https://goo.gl/forms/h0AwYCohzY 1UmY8m1
At the festival, only food and drink purchased on site will be allowed and random bag checks will be in place on entry.
In the build-up to the weekend’s events, the committee has held Seven Days of Pride, which started last Sunday and has helped raise the profile county-wide.
As part of this, a fun run will take place at Alnwick Rugby Club today, from 7.30pm.
For details on this and all of the other Pride events planned over the next few days, visit the Northumberland Pride Facebook page.