“I went to Kelham Pride 2024 in Sheffield and found the most loving and accepting community"

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It was a heart-warming event that brought together the Sheffield LGBTQIA+ community and supporters.

Saturday, June 1, marked both the beginning of Pride Month, and also the first ever Kelham Pride, which saw more than 4,000 people flock to Kelham Island and Neepsend to celebrate.

I attended the debut event on behalf of The Star to find out what the community thought about this new addition to Sheffield.

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The family-friendly event started at around midday, but it was kickstarted at 1pm as the parade set off from Kelham Island Museum to Burton Road. I stood with dozens of others to watch the fun unfold from Ball Street Bridge as hundreds of people walked past dressed in all colours, blowing whistles, cheering, dancing and, most importantly, smiling.

More than 4,000 people joined the event in Kelham Island and Neepsend.More than 4,000 people joined the event in Kelham Island and Neepsend.
More than 4,000 people joined the event in Kelham Island and Neepsend. | National World

Pride month is celebrated in June each year, and is about acceptance, equality, and celebrating the work of LGBTQIA+ people.

Sadly, I was reminded it is also about raising awareness of issues affecting the LGBT+ community, such as homophobia, as one person asked me not to take any photos of them due to violence they had experienced in the past.

Little Monty was proudly carrying around a pride flag at Kelham Pride.Little Monty was proudly carrying around a pride flag at Kelham Pride.
Little Monty was proudly carrying around a pride flag at Kelham Pride. | National World

The main event was held in the sunshine on Burton Road with a stage for entertainment and a number of charity stalls. As well as people of all ages and identities, there were also plenty of four-legged allies, including Zizi the Staffy, and Monty the Dachshund, who was reppin’ the pride flag.

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Neighbouring venues such as Alder, Peddler and Neepsend Social Club joined in the fun with their own Pride-related activities for the day, and had people bursting out of the doors.

Outside Grafters I spoke to 31-year-old Hazel Tyson to see how she was finding the day. She said: “It’s been such a good day. There’s been so much going on and there’s so much to look at and enjoy.

Hazel Tyson, aged 31, was pleased to see a pride event in Sheffield.Hazel Tyson, aged 31, was pleased to see a pride event in Sheffield.
Hazel Tyson, aged 31, was pleased to see a pride event in Sheffield. | National World

“There are so many more people than I was expecting, and so many people as well joined for the march and not just for the celebrations that have happened afterwards, so it’s so nice to see everybody coming out to show their support.

“For a long time there hasn’t been anything to celebrate LGBTQIA+ communities [in Sheffield], so it’s really nice to be able to have something, especially so central that everybody can get to, and also something that’s really safe.”

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While it got the thumbs up, Hazel did add next year she would love to see a bigger stage.

Abby Barton and Nayla Noureddine joined the celebrations on Burton Road, in Neepsend.Abby Barton and Nayla Noureddine joined the celebrations on Burton Road, in Neepsend.
Abby Barton and Nayla Noureddine joined the celebrations on Burton Road, in Neepsend. | National World

Abby Barton, aged 25, and Nayla Noureddine, 30, were also pleased to see a pride event in Sheffield.

Abby, a PhD student, said: “I haven't been to a pride event in two years and it’s really nice to have an event in Sheffield that’s so relaxed and family-friendly.

“It’s been nice just to see everyone here. It’s a really nice environment and it’s a great place to hold an event.”

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The Barradells family were proud to support the first ever Kelham Pride event.The Barradells family were proud to support the first ever Kelham Pride event.
The Barradells family were proud to support the first ever Kelham Pride event. | National World

Also at the event was Kirsty and John Barradell with their three children. The family threw themselves into the celebrations and were covered in rainbows from head to toe. 

“I think it has been lovely,” Kirsty said. “The kids have really enjoyed it. It’s a really nice event and it’s supporting a community that still seems to get a tough time.”

John said: “The organisers have put a lot of effort into the event with music and entertainment. We are a family of different identities and celebrating that is really important to us.”

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