Birmingham’s annual Pride event will see the return of the hugely popular and colourful parade through the city.
The historic parade will include amazing floats and processions from the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as from a host of other organisations.
It starts a weekend of celebrations in and around Birmingham’s gay village on May 23 and 24.
The parade takes place on Saturday May 23 starting with an official civic send off heading from Victoria Square at 2pm.
Road closures will be in place with thousands of people expected to join in and enjoy the colourful event which will proceed down through the city centre.
Last year, a series of disagreements over the start time of the annual street parade led organisers to scrap the parade. They wanted an afternoon parade, but were under instruction to hold it in the evening
However, it will return to it's traditional time this year and Lawrence Barton, festival director; said: “It is wonderful news that the parade is going ahead on Saturday afternoon through the city’s streets. I can guarantee it will be a fantastic sight.
“Last year due to circumstances beyond our control the parade didn’t take place in its full form but this year we are expecting thousands of people to flock to the area and make of the most of Pride.
“The event will give a welcome economic boost to the city as well as celebrate its vibrant lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.”
Cllr Ray Hassall, Cabinet Member for Leisure, Sport & Culture said, “Birmingham City Council helps to organise a huge variety of community events throughout the year and we are proud to help support our city’s varied communities and their cultures. Everyone is welcome at this colourful, free event and I am particularly pleased that the fantastic Pride parade will be returning this year.”
Birmingham Pride for 2009 has a green theme and is being supported by the Environment Agency as well as Birmingham-based GB Training Ltd, Birmingham City Council as well as the many clubs, bars and businesses in the village area.
It is spreading a pink meets green message with a doubling of effort to encourage more people and businesses to be more environmentally friendly. Part of that will be seen in the parade which will see hundreds of people on foot mixed with a number of decorated vehicles.
In previous years, the Selfridges building has been illuminated in pink light in tribute to the event.
The parade route will take in New Street, Temple Street, Temple Row and Colmore Row, taking the procession back to Victoria Square.
The Pride festival takes place in Birmingham’s Gay Village, which covers the area around Hurst Street, Bromsgrove Street and Essex Street.
It features a main stage with entertainment, a village square, cabaret marquee, hundreds of stalls, bars, dance tent and fun fair.
More details can be found at www.birminghampride.com.