Join The Class Of 2017 For Graduation Manchester Pride Style!

Manchester’s leading lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charity Manchester Pride has announced the theme for its bank holiday parade - Class of 2017: The Graduation.

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Manchester Pride

“Education is the key to equality” says Chief Executive for Manchester Pride Mark Fletcher.

He continues; “Every year our festival has an iconic issue which we champion through our campaigning, events and marketing and this year we have chosen to focus on education and the continuing fight that, not just LGBT people, have to gain equality across every element of their lives.

“But we aren’t here to preach – we’re a creative and forward thinking organisation which is committed to delivering an engaging and fun Manchester Pride Parade each year. This parade is our way of bringing our iconic theme alive through the personalities and creativity of the people, community and businesses who march with us.”

With over 100 entries, equating to just over 3000 participants, The Manchester Pride Parade, which this year will be on Saturday 26 August, turns the city of Manchester in to a kaleidoscope of colour, as floats and marchers weave their way throughout the city centre in front of tens of thousands of spectators showing their support to the LGBT people.

2017 will be no different as Manchester Pride invites participants to come ready for the iconic celebration that makes the culmination of the academic year – graduation. Think capes and varsity jackets, geeks and jocks but absolutely no mean girls!

Applications are now open for those who wish to take part. Businesses that have taken part in previous events have included Autotrader, Barclays, Marks and Spencer, John Lewis and The Big Weekend sponsors Manchester Airport Group and Thomas Cook Airlines. For more information visit – bigweekend.manchesterpride.com/take-part.

Individuals who want to get involved can apply to join the Manchester Pride Parade troop. For the second year running the charity will participate in the parade with its own entry thanks to a grant from the Arts Council England National Lottery Funding. The grant is awarded to provide opportunities for individuals and communities to engage with LGBT and queer arts as both participants and artists.

The money will enable Manchester Pride to hold a series of free to attend workshops focused on movement, costume and props. For the second year running the charity will team up with the Salford-based world-class outdoor arts organisation Walk the Plank who last year helped create Manchester Pride’s official lead entry with their fairytale Cinderalla’s carriage along with a troop of choreographed paraders. These workshops will play a key role in facilitating the design of the Manchester Pride troop’s parade entry while promoting creativity, participation and inclusion as well as developing the skills of young LGBT artists from Greater Manchester.

The Manchester Pride Parade starts on Liverpool Road, heads up to Deansgate turns onto Peters Street, through St Peters Square and then onto Portland Street before turning onto Princess Street and turning into Whitworth street towards the Village. In recent years it has been led by some of the most prominent faces in the LGBT world including Orange Is The New Black actress Lea DeLaria, national treasure Sir Ian McKellen and last year Manchester’s first out Lord Mayor, Carl Austin-Behan.

The Manchester Pride Festival, which is made up of The Big Weekend, The Manchester Pride Parade and The Candlelit Vigil, is an award-winning four day event celebrating LGBT life. The event takes place in August, with the Big Weekend running from Friday 25 – Monday 28 August and the parade on Saturday 26 August.

Acts already confirmed to perform at this year’s event include Spice Girl Melanie C, Sara Alto, Louisa Johnson, Faithless, Ben Pearce, Gok Wan and Simian Mobile Disco!

The Big Weekend tickets are currently priced at £22.50 for a weekend ticket, £16.50 for day tickets and children’s tickets are also available. Tickets provide guests with access to the event site, including the Main Arena, Sackville Gardens, the Gaydio Dance Arena and the Expo and help Manchester Pride raise money for LGBT and HIV charities and organisations in Greater Manchester. For more information on The Big Weekend visit the new website at bigweekend.manchesterpride.com.

Manchester Pride asks the community to wear their bands with pride as they pledge to; help Manchester Pride create a safe, world class LGBT celebration, support Manchester Pride’s commitment to raising essential funds for LGBT and HIV causes in Greater Manchester and support the organisation’s campaign for greater LGBT equality.

To find out more about the Manchester Pride you can follow the charity on Twitter @manchesterpride or visit the website at manchesterpride.com.