Plymouth’s annual LGBT festival is being given a fresh feel this month by a brand new organisation called Plymouth Out.
The new group is organising the Plymouth Out:Fest , which concludes with a city centre parade and an entertainment programme on Saturday, March 26 – a week later than originally planned.
The day is being supported in part by a legacy fund created by the charity trustees of Plymouth Pride Event, who held an annual LGBT festival for four years which reached 4,000 visitors.
The parade will form at 11 am in The Piazza in front of the big screen, where there will be a fun fair and street entertainers.
A giant 50-metre long rainbow flag will then be carried at mid-day to Portland Square, University of Plymouth, where there will be community and food stalls from 1 pm to 5 pm, and entertainment continuing from 2 pm to 8pm.
The day is being dedicated to the late LGBT campaigner and founding member of Plymouth Pride Event and Plymouth Pride Forum, Prudence de Villiers, who died of cancer early this year.
People will be encouraged to take a moment to reflect on the incredible contribution Prudence made during her life to enriching the LGBT communities of Plymouth
Plymouth Out has been formed by some of the existing Plymouth Pride Event volunteers with new helpers who stepped forward as a result of a recruitment campaign during the past year.
The funds and resources held by Plymouth Pride Event trustees have been handed to South West LGBT charity The Intercom Trust, which is administering the legacy fund.
Anybody putting on events in Plymouth for the benefit of the city’s LGBT communities can apply to the legacy fund.
Plymouth Out:Fest will be preceded by two-funding raising events – Prism gay night in the White Rabbit, Bretonside, from10.30 pm on Thursday, March 17, and the Big Gay Pub Run with optional fancy dress on Thursday, March 24, starting from the Brass Monkey, Royal Parade, at 7.30 pm, taking in The Swallow and Hawkins, and ending in Zeros Nightclub.
A display of LGBT-related books is also being held in local libraries in the fortnight leading up to Plymouth Out:Fest, which includes Richard Beard and Drusilla Marland talking about Richard’s book ‘Becoming Drusilla: one life, two friends, three genders’ in Plymouth Central Library at 7.30 pm on Friday March 18, and a talk by bestselling author Manda Scott, known for her Boudica books and the ‘Emperor’ adventures set in the heart of the Roman Empire, in Plymstock Library at 2 pm on Saturday, March 19.
A Plymouth Out spokesman said: “We are pleased to be taking forward and building on the good work of Plymouth Pride Event, and grateful for the support from the legacy fund this year.
“All of our Plymouth Out:Fest events are free of charge and open to anybody of any gender or any sexuality to come along.
“We hope they will be fun and interesting for all the family, irrespective of whether or not they are part of an LGBT community.
“We are also having a balloon release for people to remember all those who are no longer with us.”
Anybody interested in Plymouth Out can find out more by visiting www.plymouthout.co.uk or the Facebook group Plymouth Out Fest, or the PlymouthOut Twitter feed.