Manchester Pride is continually one of the UK’s biggest celebrations of Pride. And this year’s Pride Festival is no different.
Perhaps making this year’s festival more poignant, 2017 marks 50 years since Parliament first voted to legalise homosexuality in the UK. Standing in opposition to this and to support those affected, the Pride organisation gives the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community a platform to raise awareness and stand together for equality. The charity also campaigns for equality on a wide range of LGBT issues.
Taking place this bank holiday weekend, this year’s Big Weekend festival celebrations are set to run from Friday 25 August – Monday 28 August.
Each year the Manchester Pride Parade has a different theme, which is loved and adopted by the thousands who walk the parade and the tens of thousands who spectate. This year’s theme is Class of 2017: The Graduation Parade. The theme is expected to see thousands of short ties, St Trinian-esque uniform, marching bands, cheer leaders and maybe even tasseled Graduation hats. As much fun and celebration the theme allows, it also holds significance to the very basis of Pride itself. The theme centres around the importance of education as a key factor in the fight to end the inequalities and injustices still faced by LGBT people across the world.
The parade, which continues to be a highlight of Manchester Pride weekend and draws in thousands of spectators across the city centre, will start at 12.30pm on Saturday 26 August. There is no definitive finish time for the parade however, it it is not expected to last longer than two hours.
Beginning on Liverpool Road, the parade will march onto Deansgate and Peter Street. The kaleidoscope of colour from the floats and marchers will then head down towards Portland Street through the Village and over to the finish line down Whitworth Street to Fairfield Street.
The Candlelit Vigil, which will beheld on 28 August, will see Sackville Gardens turn into a sea of flickering candles in order to remember those who were taken by the HIV virus, are no longer with us, and to stand together to fight the epidemic worldwide stigma that still exists. The Candlelit Vigil also gives people the space to stand united by recognising the challenges that LGBT communities from Manchester and the rest of the world, may face. Delivered in collaboration with Manchester Pride’s charity partner, George House Trust, the vigil will be the spiritual heart of the Manchester Pride Festival this bank holiday weekend.