Police have confirmed that over 160,000 people attended Brighton Pride last weekend, making it the city’s biggest ever.
A year of financial problems and bitter community in-fighting seemed a distant memory as tens of thousands lined the streets to see the Pride Parade, with its theme of Pride and No Prejudice wind it’s way from Brighton’s seafront to Preston Park.
The parade was led by officers Sussex police and the Gay Police Association, with firemen and women from Sussex, Hampshire and Kent along with mounted police officers bringing up the rear. Many community groups were among the 55 floats and walking tableaux including local choirs, sports groups and support organisations.
Brighton police say there were 39 arrests over the weekend, primarily drug-related, although one homophobic assault was reported at the official Pride camp site, with the victim being hit with a metal bar.
The event’s police commander Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “Once again, people have attended in their thousands to line the streets and take part in the Pride celebrations. Given the huge numbers we have seen attending today, it has been a peaceful and successful event with very few isolated incidents. I’d like to thank all the organisers, the emergency services and all the participants for making the event such a great success.”
Judith Manson, Pride’s fundraising manager, told the Brighton Argus: “It has been the most amazing day, we couldn’t have asked for a better Pride 2010.
“Thanks to everyone involved and for coming to what has been the best Brighton Pride ever.
“The parade and park have exceeded all of our expectations.”