Duncan Hodgson braves the wind and rain to enjoy a day out at the seaside for the 7th annual Blackpool Pride.
The wind and the rain were out in full force in Blackpool on Saturday morning for the start of the 7th annual Blackpool Pride – but that didn’t stop people lining the promenade to welcome a spectacular parade, full of the town’s gay community and businesses. As the parade arrived at the famous North Pier, the crowds flocked to hear the Mayoress of Blackpool officially open the event and for the celebrations to begin.
After a short delay – stood in the rain waiting for the gates to open – we made it onto the pier and we were pleased to see that even though the weather was less than clement, people were still out in force; from towering drag queens in the most outrageous of outfits right through to families enjoying a different kind of day out.
Away from the pier we popped in to visit Pride Stride, a cultural exhibition of LGBT rights and history taking place nearby at the old Tourist Information Centre. During the afternoon we heard from three guest speakers, covering Homophobia in Sport, Trans Issues and ‘The Queens Speech’ – The life and times of a West End Drag Queen with the fabulous Miss Stella Artois.
Up on Queen Street, near the town’s
gay venues, we were pleased to see a bustling outdoor area in full party mode with it’s own stage and entertainment. A host of local DJs and acts kept us entertained throughout this afternoon – with the X-Factor’s Sami Brookes singing her heart out.
Later in the evening we headed back to the pier for the special Pride Gala concert, ready for our appointment with boyband Blue. While we were waiting for the Blue boys to arrive we were treated to performances from an array of acts from eternally camp Scooch ‘flying the flag’ for us, through to dance songstresses Tina Cousins and Angie Brown.
Then of course it was the moment everyone had been waiting, for as the crowd welcomed Blue onto the stage. The boys looked like they might have been enjoying the backstage bar a little too much but still gave a great performance with all of their hits that we know and love, including ‘All Rise’ and ‘One Love’.
Even though the weather wasn’t at it’s best, it seemed that most people were getting into the spirit of things and having a great time on Saturday – whether they were down on the pier, taking in the cultural ‘Pride Stride’, or up at the Queen Street Pride Party. We’re already looking forward to seeing what Blackpool has to offer next time round in 2013 – let’s hope it is a scorcher!