Celebrate Pride this weekend

Liverpool Pride returns this weekend for its sixth consecutive year with a full weekend of flamboyant and vibrant activity taking place across the city celebrating the LGBT community.

One of the host venues, St George’s Hall has just announced that they will be showing their support to Gay Pride by illuminating the columns on the front of the Grade II listed building; lighting up the hall in a spectacular rainbow of colour to represent the colours of the Pride flag. This will take place on the evenings of Friday 31 July and Saturday 1 August.

Alan Smith, Manager of St George’s Hall said:

“St George’s Hall is delighted to support PRIDE for its celebrations. The East Portico columns at the top of the Plateau will be lit up in a brilliant spectacle of Rainbow lights on Friday and Saturday evening which will be a grand way to start the weekend, and the family friendly event in St John’s Gardens brings further celebration and light into the heart of the city and reaffirms the halls commitments to be truly multicultural, inclusive, and embracing all of the community.”

The Liverpool Pride March will as ever kick off the celebrations on Saturday 1 August which will then be followed by a FREE events programme held in the prestigious backdrop of the St George’s Quarter and within St John’s Gardens.

Those marching are asked to gather at the muster point at Liverpool’s iconic St. George’s Plateau from 10.30am with the march starting at 12pm.

There will be extended muster time activity hosted by celebrated Drag Queen, The Vivienne and Paul St German, which includes performances from LIPA, Royal Court Community Choir, Empire Youth Theatre performing songs from Legally Blonde, Encore Productions and poems by Liverpool poet Gerry Potter.

There will be speeches from Liverpool’s Lord Mayor Tony Concepcion, Natalie Bennett MP (leader of Green Party), and Labour MPStephen Twigg, Councillor Gary Millar as well as other LGBT patrons and activists.

They will also be announcing the winner of the school competitions to design a t-shirt (judged by Stone Wall Chief Exec Ruth Hunt) and the poetry competition (judged by CEO of Diversity Role Models Suran Dickson).

Liverpool Pride March will then commence through the streets of Liverpool which this year for the first time ever will go through theStanley Street Gay Quarter.

Once back at the plateau there will be further speeches and performances as well as a special Balloon Release. This will launch a full afternoon of events scheduled in St John’s Gardens.

St Johns Gardens and St Georges Quarter will remain an alcohol free zone.

Bring your picnic baskets and pitch a spot and relax on the comfy pink bean bags in St John’s Gardens to enjoy pink lemonade and afternoon tea with The Pride Pink Picnic. Food and soft drinks will also be available for purchase.

Check out the Community Zone which includes an Education Area sponsored by After Adoption, a Kids Game Area, and Market.

The Education Area offers a varied programme throughout the day for all ages which includes: a video from the Michael Causer Foundation which outlines why the Foundation was set up; DWF present facts and advice for same-sex couples wanting to start a family; Diversity Role Models present workshops which give an insight in to life in the school classroom; Sahir House present some of their latest work; Purple Tie Promotions present a Trans panel discussion about life before and after the ban was lifted on LGBT serving members of the Armed Forces; various Q+A sessions including Liverpool Trans and LGSM; Kreative Kaos will present an exciting performance of children’s story The Pirate Princess; Story time corner with readings of LGBT children’s books throughout the day.

Acoustic Music will be provided in the education area with a host of local artists performing throughout the day, including Out on Stagecontestants Eleanor Nelly and Joseph Lofthouse.

Kids of all ages will be entertained for hours in the Kids Game Area which will include: giant versions of Jenga, Connect Four, Coyts, Pick up Sticks, Snakes and Ladders, hula hooping, skipping, limbo, table tennis, space hoppers, nought and crosses and parachutes.

There will also be a market which will include a wealth of stalls to stock up on souvenirs, gifts and mementos as well and food and drink stalls and information stalls including various LGBT services plus stalls which offer links to local and national groups for teens to get information and resources for teachers and education providers to use in their classrooms.

The Incredible Moving Picturehouse will also be driving into the city for a special programme of movies supported by Unison North West LGBT Group and Thinking Film. Screening four LGBT feature films – Hairspray, Pride, Soft Lad and Dressed as a Girl, running from 2pm to 10:30pm, tickets are £6 per screening and are now on sale.

Dance the night away at The Ball and Chain Fundraiser, a special event at city centre venue Amanzi on Water Street from 7:30pm. The event which is being organised in partnership with Soul Inspired Events will include a host of Liverpool’s hottest and freshest talent including the 2015 Out On Stage finalists Skylights and Jess Kemp plus this year’s winner Shamona plus performances from Jes Stretton, Court Royal and Amique.

Tickets for the fundraiser can be purchased in advance for £10 via email to tickets@liverpoolpride.co.uk  or in person at The Lisbon on Victoria Street, or can be purchased on the door at Amanzi for £12.

Stanley Street Quarter will also be hosting a wide range of entertainment and events throughout the weekend. Please visitwww.stanleystqtr.co.uk for more details.

GYRO Youth Space, a service for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans* Young People aged 13-25 will also be celebrating Pride with a selection of games, music, trans*zone, art, photo booth and food from 1pm-5pm at YPAS Bolton Street, Liverpool, L3 5LX.

The programme continues on Sunday 2 August with Breaking Our Chains: Health and Creativity at the Bluecoat from 2pm which offers an afternoon of health, healing and creativity featuring: Big Luv Sista Choir and Circle, First steps in Pride & Confidence buildingfrom The Armistead Project; creative activities with POM POM and FREE hand and arm massage from Kiehl’s of Liverpool Onealongside Wishes & Prayers bunting making with Liverpool Pride.

The weekend then comes to a poignant close with the Michael Causer Foundation Vigil taking place at 5pm at Temple Square, with the date of Liverpool Pride always coinciding with the anniversary of when murdered gay teenager Michael Causer tragically lost his life.  Michael died on 2 August 2008, and the festival was specifically created in his memory as a way to celebrate his life and empower the LGBT communities. This year’s Liverpool Pride takes place a week before what would have also been Michael’s 26th birthday. TheMichael Causer Vigil will be held on Sunday 2 August, 5pm at Temple Square, off Dale Street.

Liverpool Pride 2015 is being supported by main sponsors Homes For Everyone and Liverpool City Council. Supporters also includeAfter Adoption, Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Hugh Baird College, Unison North West LGBT, and Barefoot Wine.

Anyone wishing to participate in the march should pre-register here: www.liverpoolpride.co.uk/liverpool-pride-march-registration

Keep up to date with Pride Liverpool announcements by visiting www.liverpoolpride.co.uk where people can also register to volunteer or find out about sponsorship opportunities.

Follow them on Facebook at Facebook.com/LiverpoolPride and on Twitter @LiverpoolPride

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