Excitement is building around Wiltshire as more details have been confirmed for Swindon & Wiltshire’s Pride Celebrations.
Swindon Pride was launched in 2008, with the first ever Pride festival being held in Swindon. In 2009, the Pride event was expanded to incorporate Swindon & Wiltshire Pride and this year’s event will be the 6th event to be held in the Town Gardens in Swindon.
The event is a safe and fun environment for members of the community to come along and meet new people and make friends. It also helps to break down barriers and build bridges between the LGBT and non-LGBT communities
Pride Day takes place on Saturday 9th August, starting with a parade through Old Town where already over 200 people have registered to take part . The Parade leaves the Town Gardens at 11:15am taking a circular route through Old Town before returning to the Town Gardens. The theme for this year is ‘Equality For All’. Those taking part in the parade will be meeting at the Town Gardens at 10.45am, but must register first via the Facebook Event page.
A large and varied range of activities and artists are lined up during the day with the park being split into ‘zones’.
The Shopping Zone will feature a range of merchandise including Cakes, Jewellery, Trinkets and more.
The Community Zone will see representation from many local groups and charities both in Wiltshire & neighbouring areas, including Swindon Lions, Gay West, Terence Higgins Trust, Swindon WI, Out of the Can LGBT Youth Group, Great Western Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Swindon Mind, and many more.
The Public Sector Zone will feature local Government Services such as: Family and Adoption / Equality and Diversity, Promoting Zero Tolerance of homophobic language, Swindon Libraries & Information Service, Wiltshire Fire & Rescue Service and Wiltshire Police.
The Family Zone will be a safe and welcoming space for the up and coming adults of the future and their ‘grown up minders’ with a Soft Play area and Giant Games to get involved in.
The Sports Zone will feature groups from around the area such as Supermarine Ladies RFC, GW Dance Academy, Gay Outdoor Club and more. This will also be an opportunity for those interested in becoming part of Swindon & Wiltshire’s first LGBT Social Activity group to register. The LGBT Social Activity Group has funding through Swindon & Wiltshire Pride / Awards for All to run for one year to go on and become an established independent group which expands the activities available for like-minded LGBT people such as Walking, Cycling, Monthly Coffee Club, Monthly Meets & Greets plus other activities.
There are two entertainment stages forming part of this year’s event. Swindon & Wiltshire Pride 2014 have dedicated the Band Stand to ‘Stephen G Sloan’. Stephen’s love of music and people was abundant. Sadly Stephen lost his life this year in January this year at the age of 32, due to a burst ulcer, a condition he was unaware of.
Stephen previously performed on the community stage at Pride with Wychwell – a local group. He was a avid supporter of Pride and put the same passion and vigour in to his performances that he and put into life. The stage this year will host performances from up and coming talent from the local area, as well as established acts such a Mini Midler, Little Miss Dynamite and Nick Felix.
The Main Stage, sponsored by Thames Water, will feature performances from British Harlem, The Fabulous Miss Bridy & Boy Jase, Ben Craig, Shona Shuffles, Leslie Lush, Stolen Idenity – and the headline act, X Factor’s Marcus Collins.
The day’s events are due to finish around 10:25pm, with an AfterPride Street Party being held at The Mailcoach & Queen Street, featuring Katrina Leskanich – of Katrina & The Waves fame.
More information and the full line up for the day can be found at The Swindon & Wiltshire Pride Website.