Thousands to flock to Sheffield Pride festival

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SHEFFIELD’S fifth Pride festival looks set to be the biggest and best yet.

Thousands of people are expected to flock to the city’s celebration of its lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, which takes place on Saturday, June 2.

Organisers hope a parade, the first of its kind for the festival, will draw in crowds as it brings streets alive with music and colour.

Streams of people will take part in the carnival-like procession, which will travel from Ecclesall Road to Hunters Bar.

The parade will finish at Endcliffe Park, where the celebrations will continue with a funfair, live music and Olympic-themed sporting activities.

Last year, the one-day festival attracted around 10,000 people and it is hoped that figure will soar to 12,000 this time as it coincides with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee bank holiday weekend. There will be a £3 admission fee for adults to compensate for a shortfall in sponsorship.

Robert Fowler, event manager for Sheffield Pride, said: “It is still going to be free for children because we don’t want it to be an expensive day out for families. We decided that we had to do something which would justify an admission charge and we came up with a parade, which will be the main attraction.

“Pride parades are traditionally a celebration full of noise and colour and that’s what we’re aiming to do.”

From its humble beginnings in 2008, Sheffield Pride is fast becoming one of the highlights of the city’s jam-packed social calendar and organisers hope it will get bigger each year.

Mr Fowler said: “Sheffield Pride has always focused on the community and those who attend it. We still like involving local charities and having market stalls there. We hope that the festival will get bigger but we’ll still have that community feel.”

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