Swindon & Wiltshire Pride returns to Swindon’s Town Gardens on Saturday 20th August.
The annual free event, which is a celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, is set to attract thousands and is now on it’s ninth year.
This year’s theme is love for all in response to the shooting massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, last month. There will be a remembrance tree near the Stephen G Sloan stage to leave messages to commemorate the victims or other loved ones.
There will be 11 hours of entertainment, kicking off with the spectacular parade from 11.15am in Springfield Road which will do a loop of Old Town for 45 minutes.
Acts appearing during the day will include Sister Sister, Sam Wearing and Mrs Bridy and the Boy Jase. This year’s headline act is Mica Paris, who will be due on stage at around 9.40pm.
“It’s a day where the whole community, regardless of sexuality, can come together and show support for each other and enjoy themselves,” Jo Sharpe, Chair of Swindon & Wiltshire Pride, told the Swindon Advertiser. “In past years we have had 7,500 people so we are hoping to get the same figures this year. There are so many people that have been involved in making pride happen throughout all the years and we want to say thank you. We also get a lot of support from the council and sponsors.”
The Sexual Health team from the Great Western Hospital will also be hitting Swindon Pride armed with condoms, chlamydia tests and colourful t-shirts. For the third year running, the team, who are based on the fourth floor of the Swindon hospital and at Carfax Health Centre, will be on hand at the festival to give out advice and information on all aspects of sexual health.
Matt Othold, Sexual Health Adviser, said: “Swindon Pride is always a great event with a fantastic atmosphere, so we’re really excited to be back again for 2016. “While it’s all about having fun and celebrating diversity, we also want people to take just a moment to think about their sexual health as it’s something that all people, whether they are gay or straight, need to take responsibility for. “We’re a really friendly team and there’s nothing we haven’t heard or seen before, so if you’ve got a question to ask about sexual health, we hope you’ll pop by and say hello at Swindon Pride.”