The highlight of Manchester Pride is the parade which traditionally takes place on the Saturday afternoon of the August bank holiday weekend. This year the date was Saturday 28th August. Its one of the biggest and best Pride weekends of the UK, centering around the famous Canal Street of the gay village. If you rub out the C of Canal it makes a great joke of the street name. The whole area is fenced of enabling them to charge people an entrance fee, raising £115,000 for local LGBT charities.
This year we did an army theme in the parade for Federation and big special Manchester Pride club night called Uni Challenge. Stood on top of the army tank as it rumbled through Manchester's city center was a fantastic experience. So many people waving and cheering, what a great day to remember for a long time. And then to finish off a great parade we heard that we won best float, wow "Thank You Judges" who ever you were. xx
Manchester Pride has traditionally been a fundraiser for the LGBT and HIV communities and is the only Pride event in the UK that has consistently done so. In the past the festival has been called many names including Gayfest, Mardi Gras and in 2003, the city had the honour of hosting EuroPride. Between 2003 and 2006 Manchester Pride Ltd worked with Operation Fundraiser (the Lesbian and Gay Foundation and George House Trust joint fundraising body) to deliver the Manchester Pride festival. This raised over £450,000 before it ‘hung up its boots’ in 2007. The money was distributed to over 100 LGBT and HIV groups and charities in the Greater Manchester area.
In 2007 Manchester Pride realised its long-term vision of becoming a charity in its own right, successfully raising £95,000 for local charities that year alone. 2008 was a memorable year as we almost got arrested... for making a porn film in our hotel gym. Last year 2009, despite rising costs, the success of Manchester Pride steadily increased and the August Bank Holiday festival raised the largest amount ever, £135,000. This was distributed to groups such as the Marlin Swimming Group, Rainbow Families, and Keshet Manchester, as well as the free condom and lube scheme in the village and HIV organisations such as Body Positive North West.
Visit the Manchester Pride web site: ManchesterPride.com