Thousands join ‘biggest ever’ Sheffield Pride

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A colourful atmosphere descended on Sheffield as the city’s annual Pride event took place for the sixth year.

At least 5,000 people attended the day, which started with a free gathering in Barker’s Pool, where there were stalls, food and drink, and a DJ set by a drag queen.

Then around 1,000 people marched along Division Street to Devonshire Green for the main bash, which included entertainment, a fairground, and music by DJs from top gay clubs around the country.

Some of the marchers carried placards while many had rainbow flags - symbol of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

The party on Devonshire Green was due to continue until as late as 4am on Sunday morning.

Organiser Adam Hood said the event, in glorious sunshine, was set to be the best Pride ever held in Sheffield.

He said: “We were expecting at least 5,000 people and I’m very confident we have more than that. There were 1,000 people on the parade alone, compared with 300 last year - although the weather was poor then.

“Pride has been going for six years in Sheffield and this year’s is the biggest.”

Adam, aged 24, said that as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, there were also families and friends - and others who just wanted to have fun.

“It’s a day for everyone to come together and make some noise for equality,” he said - revealing event organisers were subject of homophobic abuse while setting up.

William Cocking, from Stannington and Sheffield chairman of support charity Soundout, said that as well as a chance to have fun, he believes Pride is important to give the gay community strength - and show it can stand together.

The 46-year-old revealed he was the victim of homophobic abuse by youths after he helped a neighbour in the snow.

Teenagers shouted abuse and threw snowballs. They were made to apologise after he complained to police.

Mr Cocking said: “Pride is to promote the fact that we all support each other.

“It’s a great atmosphere and a very safe event.”

Among the revellers were Sheffield University students Romilly Close, 19, and Cez Mabe, 20.

Romilly, who lives in Broomhall, said: “It’s great that events like this are going on to bring the community together.”

Cez, 20, of Crookes, added: “Pride is really important as a celebration - although there could also be more events during the year, such as marking Idaho, the international day against homophobia.”