Manchester Pride - August 2009

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Manchester Pride 2009

It was an amazing day, one of the best Pride festivals in the UK; we all had a lot of fun. Saturday 29th August - the day started at 12 noon with everyone getting ready for the parade. Drag queens, sexy boys, lesbians, fag-hags, trannies and everyone in-between from all walks of life and ethnicity assembled in a mass of colour and flamboyant energy. The parade then started at 1pm running up Deansgate, around St Anne’s Church, then down Princess Street to finish in the Gay Village (Canal Street) where the festival was kicking off.

The festival is fenced off to the public with tickets costing £17.50 to enter, this money goes towards the huge cost of staging the event as well as raising funds for local gay charities. There is a main stage hosted by Gaydar Radio, fun fair, lifestyle expo, market area and of course just hanging out along Canal Street drinking with friend’s whist checking out the mass array of eye candy.

In the evening the big dance party is Uni Challenge at Manchester’s Student Union. This years event was its 10th anniversary and was one of the biggest gay party events of the year. It finished off a fantastic day which year after year is always guaranteed to be a fun packed event. Put it in your diary for next year - Summer Bank Holiday at the end of August.

This year's 2009 Manchester Pride raised £135,000 for charity – the largest ever amount in the festival’s 19 year history. Headline artists like Human League and Peter Andre helped generate record ticket sales during the Big Weekend over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The money will be used over the coming months to support various lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups and projects across Greater Manchester via the Manchester Pride Community Fund and the Manchester Pride HIV / AIDS Fund. It will also support the Lesbian & Gay Foundation’s ‘Free Condom and Lube’ scheme and the George House Trust HIV Welfare Fund.

Andrew Stokes, chairman of Manchester Pride, said: “This is a great achievement and I’d like to extend a sincere thank you to everyone involved. Manchester Pride is a team effort and it wouldn’t be possible for us to stage the event we do without the help and support of so many organisations and individuals from across the city. “Given the current economic climate, donations to some groups and projects are worth far more than their actual financial value - it can literally be the difference between survival and going under. Manchester gay community has many worthy causes and we are proud to be able to support so many of them again for another year.”

Paul Martin, chief executive of The Lesbian & Gay Foundation (LGF), added: “In the current climate it’s heart warming to know that everyone who supported Manchester Pride this year has made a positive contribution to the future of the LGBT voluntary sector in Greater Manchester. “The money that LGF receives is vital to our ongoing efforts, such as our long running free condom and lube scheme for gay and bisexual men. Many of Manchester’s LGBT charities, groups and volunteers, absolutely rely on the grants that Manchester Pride’s Community Fund is able to support, because of the generosity of Manchester Pride-goers.

Visit the Manchester Pride web site: