Chester will be awash with a riot of colour as the city’s second annual Pride festival returns this weekend.
The festival, which celebrates equality, diversity and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, officially launches with a colourful walking parade through the city centre at midday, featuring public sector organisations, voluntary groups, charities and sports and social groups.
Cllr Bob Rudd, The Lord Mayor of Chester , will be one of them, travelling through the parade in a Roman Chariot while the Public and Commercial Services Union Samba Band provides music and belly dancers and burlesque artists dance through the streets.
Leading the parade, which starts at Grosvenor Park, will be Chester Pride’s new mascot, a Roman God wearing a rainbow plume helmet sat on a throne inscribed with key dates in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history.
From Grosvenor Park the parade will head to St Johns Street, onto Eastgate Street, then Northgate Street and St Werburgh Street, before heading back to the park where live music will begin on the main stage at Grosvenor Park from 1pm.
There will be performances from headline acts including 90s stars Sonia, Rozalla, Livin Joy and Kelly Llorena, as well as pop act Tokyo Taboo, local singer Sharon Wallace, dance duo Shelter, Chester Rock Choir, Bears Aloud and male vocal harmony group Wolf.
Award-winning tribute artist Vicky Jackson will also be performing as Katy Perry and Pink, as well as local acoustic duo Me and Deboe.
Elsewhere, the festival will feature an alternative performance tent, a learning zone, lifestyle area, youth zone, kids zone and a marketplace.
Jenna Pickin-Jones, Chester Pride Director and Social Media coordinator, said: “Following last year’s Pride, we had a lot of people asking us to consider having a parade at future events. Upon announcing that we would be having a parade, the response has been fantastic and we are pleased to have the Lord Mayor taking part along with all the groups, businesses and organisations.
“The mascot is inspirational and after Pride will be going on tour. We would also encourage any schools, businesses, or other venues that would like to house it for a few weeks to get in touch. We hope that people who aren’t taking part in the parade support it on the day by standing along the parade route cheering us on.”
More information about Chester Pride can be found at www.chesterpride.co.uk or you can follow Chester Pride UK on Facebook, or Twitter @chesterpride