Preparations for this year’s Pride Festival week are continuing apace with a record amount of sponsorship support already announced and an exciting 2010 Park layout to be announced very soon.

All the regular much-cherished attractions will feature again at this year’s event, whose theme ‘Pride and (No) Prejudice is sending the imaginations of parade entries into overdrive.

Pride Parade
Entries for the Pride Parade are nearing the 55 limit imposed by the authorities for traffic management and safety considerations.

Trevor Edwards, Pride’s Parade Officer said: “We have had a terrific response from groups and organizations wanting to take part in what always turns out to be a joyous occasion.

“While it is always unfair to highlight any one entry over others, there will be some very eye-catching entries to watch out for. For the first time the RAF will be taking part in the parade. Their theme ‘Reaching Out – it’s not just us that are diverse, our jobs are too’ will be an excuse for their representatives to march dressed in a variety of work uniforms from pilots to engineers, from RAF police to bandsmen and women.

“As if the public’s appetite for men and women in uniform isn’t going to be satisfied enough by the RAF contingent, the Sussex Police will be on parade as will the fire services of the whole of Sussex, along with their colleagues from Kent and Hampshire. There promises to be more fire engines than you can shake a stick at.”

Entering into the spirit of the Pride and No Prejudice theme will be local student unions that’ll be combining forces to give spectators a tale of Victorian morality.

Brighton Rockers Roller Derby promises to raise a smile or two, as they’re busy preparing their bustles, corsets and big wigs to skate their way to Preston Park.
AIDs charities will be well represented by the Terrence Higgins Trust, Sussex Beacon, while other Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community groups spreading the message of tolerance and acceptance will include MindOut, the mental health charity; Allsorts, the youth project; the LGBT Drug and Alcohol Service and Brighton and Hove Switchboard.

Commenting, Trevor Edwards, who is also working on Pride London, said: “The parade is a visible manifestation of all that Pride stands for and contributes to the charity’s educational remit.

“It will be sad to turn away parade applicants, but once we have reached the limit set by the authorities, we will be forced to. I urge anyone who has yet to get in contact to do as quickly as possible.”

Council support
Another cause for celebration is the announcement by Brighton & Hove City Council of its Pride Day Grant. It has allocated £6,000 from its Discretionary Grants programme for use by local community groups.

“This is a great vote of confidence in Pride by our City Council,” said Pride chairman Robert Clothier. “Small grants are to be made available to local community groups delivering an activity, including preparation for an activity taking place on Pride day.”

LGBT community groups interested in bidding for a small grant can download the application form from the Pride website home page at www.brightonpride.org

Robert added “Not only has the Council demonstrated its faith in Pride by making this grant available for local community groups, Pride is very pleased to announce that the Council has also renewed its three year grant to the charity in support of the work it does throughout the year.”

Pride festival week events
Meanwhile, Pride’s very own Judith Manson reports that details of fundraising and community events around the city are coming in “thick and fast.”

Among those announced are:

The Pride’s Got Talent at the Queen’s Arms with heats kicking off on 23rd June with the final on 28th July. Landlord Andy Feast has arranged for the winner to perform their act on the stage of the Cabaret Tent on the Park.
A 12 hour karoke Marathon at the Caroline of Brunswick. Cazza Karaoke gets going at 1 pm on Saturday 31st July.
A fashion show in aid of Pride at Charles Street on Tuesday, 3rd August
The Marlborough pub is staging its own street party with all proceeds going to Pride on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th August.
Queens Hotel’s Dine with the Stars, includes a 3 course dinner and a 20 minute cabaret slot from acts including the redoubtable Maisie Trollette, Dave Lynn and Lady James all taking place on Thursday, 29th July.
The Big Pride Quiz! @ The PV at The Jury’s Out. £1 to enter with all proceeds going to Pride (PV will match money raised). How much do you know about Pride, so don’t be prejudiced & join in the fun on Wednesday, 4th August.
A cabaret evening, MindOut for the Laughs will take place at the Komedia on Thursday, 5th August. Performers include Zoe Lyons, Hope Springs, Debra Jane Appleby and Cat Harding.
Brighton & Hove Gay Men’s Chorus, Born Free at St Andrew’s Church, Waterloo Street, Hove on Thursday, 5th and Friday, 6th August.
Details of all Pride fundraisers and community events will be published on the Pride website, in the Pride magazine (out at the beginning of July) and on the Official Pride Facebook page.

Robert Clothier, chairman of Pride in Brighton & Hove said: “There is a tremendous buzz among all those who have been clamouring to get into the Parade and onto the Park and I believe that, once again, Pride Festival week will prove to be the country’s best celebration of LGBT lives.”

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