A rundown of this Saturday’s Pride in Hull

Published: Thursday 20th July 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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This Saturday, an incredible parade will encircle Hull City Centre to kick off some fantastic Pride in Hull celebrations and events.

Hull UK City of Culture has been given the wonderful opportunity to host this year’s first ever UK Pride. This prestigious title was awarded by UK PON (Pride Organisers Network) and the idea is that every future City of Culture will be granted this honour in years to come.

Not only is 2017 an important year for our city, but it also marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the country.

“The title basically means that Hull’s Pride will be bigger and better than it’s ever been before,” reveals Heath Marsh-McLeod, one of the organisers and dedicated Board Trustees.

The two-hour long Pride Parade will kick off at Hull College at noon, adjacent to an iconic symbol of freedom, the William Wilberforce statue.

“This will be Hull’s largest ever Pride Parade to date,” he enthuses. “It will snake its way around the city and end at the Rose Bowl Fountain in Queen’s Gardens.”

Over 3,000 people will take part in this spectacular procession.

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“A highlight, for me, will be the 50 Queers for 50 Years section,” Heath exclaims. “There will be fifty effigies, each one representing a gay icon from the past half a century.”

The sculptures have been made by the hands of local communities from recycled materials, with the help of London-based theatre company, Duckie. On the list for a paper mâché immortalisation is EastEnders favourite, Pat Butcher, and comedic drag act, Lily Savage.

At 2pm the Parade will end, but that’s not it for the festivities and entertainment:

“A 7-hour programme will commence on the main stage,” explains Heath. “We’ve got a real mix bag of events, all trying to reflect the past five decades of the LGBT community.

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Courtney Act, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, is the latest announcement for the exciting lineup. Meanwhile, local drag celebrity Bobby Mandrell will perform their original 60s show. A few local dance companies are getting involved too.

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For music, Samantha Atkinson and Pop group B*Witched will take to the stage. All followed by international drag artist, La Voix.

After Saturday, a weeklong programme of inspiring performances, film screenings and workshops is planned.

“We have worked in partnership with Hull Independent Cinema to present a Hull LGBT Film Festival on Tuesday 25 June. This involves six LGBT film showings across four distinct venues in the city.”

On Wednesday, there will be an LGBT Entrepreneur night and comedy show. Then on Thursday, a photography exhibition will be displayed.

Heath is keen to ensure that everyone feels welcome at this year’s Pride:

“Come along with an open mind and embrace something new. Pride in Hull is for everyone, not just for the LGBT community. It’s for LGBT families, their friends and allies. Everybody is welcome.”

“Come and see a wide range of different entertainment that you may not usually see in Hull. At the end of the day, it’s a celebration of diversity and the last fifty years of freedom.”

The Pride in Hull Parade will take place on Saturday 22 July. For more information, please visit the Pride in Hull website.

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Published: Thursday 20th July 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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