The first Grampian Pride is expected to host thousands of people in Aberdeen this weekend, with a huge Pride march along Union Street and a festival event at Beach Boulevard.

Organisers have raised over £50,000 from grants and local sponsorship for the event on Saturday 26th May.

The day begins with a Parade through the city from 10.30am, starting at the Holborn junction of Union Street, through the heart of the city with thousands expected to line the city’s main shopping street, ending at Castlegate.

The parade will be led by Hollyoak’s actress Annie Wallace, who hails from the city, and will include music, decorated vehicles, floats and marchers from across the region. The march is free to attend with the public being encouraged to come along and join in!

From 11am til 1pm there are events in various locations around the city, including the Vanity May Reign drag show at The Wig, Dean Walker and Connor Byrne at Siberia Bar, All Stations Go at Slain’s Castle and karaoke at Cheerz Bar.

From 1pm the main festival event opens at Queens Links on Beach Boulevard. The free event will feature headliners Sandi Thom, Ross Alexander and Kit Purnell. Entertainment continues on the main stage with a full line-up of fantastic bands and singers until 8pm. The festival site will include an LGBT exhibition from Pink Saltire, a trans safe-space, youth zone, swap shop, charity stalls, a climbing wall and kids space, bouncy castle and food and drink outlets. The event is fully licensed and includes a beer tent.

img_1191Organisers have even arranged discounted bus tickets for the day with 20% off First Bus prices, 10% off taxi fares with Aberdeen Taxis and reduced price entry to Codona’s theme park which is opposite the festival site.

The festival site closes at 8pm with after-party venues spread all across Aberdeen. Check out the Grampian Pride Facebook page for all the latest news on the official after party events.

Grampian Pride is a partnership of local organisations and individuals coming together to organise this first event, including charities Four Pillars, Pink Saltire, Grampian Regional Equality Council and the North East LGBT+ Community Development Group.

A team of hard-working and dedicated volunteers has been working for months to bring in the finance needed and to organise events for the city. Led by Co-Chairs, Justine Smithies and Deejay Bullock, the team also includes Paul Craggs (Volunteering Lead), Jed James Welsh (Entertainment Lead), Alec Matthew (Ops & Logistics Lead) as well as Myshele Haywood, Ellie Hepburn and Jade Hepburn. Without their tremendous efforts for the community, there would be no event in the North East to challenge discrimination and promote LGBT+ rights.

A Pride event was first held in Aberdeen in 2002, with around 400 people attending an event at Duthie Park. Although popular with the community, the event failed to attract continued investment and was cancelled a few years later.

Grampian is one of seven new Pride events in Scotland this year, taking the total to 11 – the highest number ever in Scotland. More information on the remaining Pride dates can be found here.

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