Pride in Brighton & Hove – Only one week to go!!!

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Pride in Brighton & Hove’s Carnival Parade and main park event promises to be not only the best ever in Brighton and Hove, but in Europe too. A peek behind the scenes shows community groups and businesses are putting the finishing touches to floats and costumes, and reveals that imaginations have run riot.

The theme of Pride Beside the Seaside has inspired the creative spirits and the parade, which will have 55 floats – the maximum allowed – is bound to have a profusion of bathing belles and beaux, matelotes and mermaids, not to mention all those kiss-me-quick hats and much, much more.

Apart from the Carnival Parade, the summer festival week (Saturday 25th July to Sunday 2nd August) is expected to attract many thousands and, with more than 100 events in the run up to the Carnival Parade and immediately after the main event in the park, there is plenty to choose from. Whether your taste is for garden parties, the arts, drag shows, volleyball or five-aside-football tournaments, you should find something that’s up your street. Many of the community-run events have only been made possible by support from Pride.

Meanwhile, the majority of the local businesses taking part in the festival will be demonstrating their support for Pride in Brighton & Hove by donating much-needed funds raised at their events towards the running of costs of Pride. It takes a cool £250,000 to put on the one-day event and if it is to remain free all those donations are really needed. On the park Pride will have up to 80 volunteers with collecting buckets – they are aiming to collect £40,000 on the day, so please give generously.

For many though the park event is the main focus – it is expected to attract more than 150,000 people. There will be 43 community stalls, 35 exhibitors and over 100 traders. Of course, the park event would be incomplete without all the bars and tents. You have a choice of 8 bars and all will be selling the same drinks at identical prices – all to ensure that no one is being ripped off.

Whether your thing is to boogie the day away, line dance till you drop, enjoy almost non-stop cabaret or simply chill out Pride has ensured that you will be catered for on the park.

Your Walk Around the Park

What’s new and what’s hot on the park at Pride this year…

A big screen will form a new focal point for this year’s Pride. If you missed the fun of the parade or want to check out what your costume looked like then you will be able to see re-runs. There will also be cameras on the park, so there won’t be an excuse for missing a thing.

The community village sponsored by Barclays with more that 40 stalls is where you can catch up with local and national charities and community groups – head for the north east area of the park.

The popular Pride Members’ Area is back. Free to all Pride member’s, or £25 to non members on the day. The garden and bar are a great place to sit back, people watch and mingle. Food is courtesy of Foxy’s Roast & Grill in Hove, order your Foxy’s Pride Picnic Box in advance and collect it on the day by calling 01273 776661. A picnic box for two will set you back just £20 and Includes 2 1/4 chickens with lemon and herb dressing or rotisserie honey glazed ham and side salads with a choice of dressings, large tub of coleslaw, rustic bread rolls with butter and two of their famous secret desserts.

New sponsor’s Marque II, the sports car club will have one or two of their little beauties at the park for us all to drool over.

Beds in Brighton are bringing a new area to the park – next to the Pride Members’ Area, by invitation only.

There is a choice of eight bars on the park all selling drinks at the same prices – so no chance of getting ripped off! There is plenty of free water available and Southern Water will be handing out free water at their Water Cafe.

To overcome the plague of freeloaders exploiting the crowd and peddling their own booze, Pride has pulled the rug from under them by sanctioning ‘official roaming traders’ on the park. They’ll be easy to spot and will always carry identity badges.

Brighton Marina will be bringing an oasis of calm with a beach, palm trees, red phone boxes, two union jack minis and half naked boys will be ready to pose with you for photographs.

The Wild Fruit dance tent with a capacity for 5,000 and will be the place many will head for. There will be an all star DJ line up including some of the country’s best. And if all that wasn’t enough the Wild Fruit boys will be shaking their stuff for the delight of the crowds.

If line dancing is more your thing then head or the Paul Wilde Line Dancing tent in the north east corner of the park. Bring your own Stetsons and chaps!

The Women’s Performance tent in the north of the park hosted by Cat Harding, Julie Jepson, Yvo Luna and Nicky Mitchell who will be introducing some of the best women artists around, including Lianne Hall, Head Hearts, Andrea Kenny and the Cavalrys.

If drag queens are your thing, then totter across to the Curiosity Cabaret Tent – there will be a virtual non-stop parade of wigs lacquered to within an inch of their lives, faux-haut couture and mascaraed talent for your delight. Here’s your fantasic line up for the day:

2pm – Lady James

2.10 – Sally Vate

2.25 – Lady Imelda

2.30 – James Bedford (A Boy Called James)

2.45 – Dame Margot

2.50 – Davina Sparkle

3.10 – All Mouth & No Trousers

3.30 – Jamie Watson

3.45 – Miss Jason

4.00 – Maisie Trollette

4.15 – Toppin & Butch

4.35 – Betty Swollocks

4.40 – Sandra

5.00 – Jo Francis

5.15 – Rose Garden

5.35 – Pride

5.45 – Pride’s Got Talent Winner

5.50 – Connie Conway

5.55 – D.E. Experience

6.15 – Lola Lasagne

6.35 – Nicolette Street

6.50 – Dave Lynn

7.10 – Drag With No Name

7.30 – Pride Beside the Seaside Finale

The black and ethnic minority community’s own Calabash tent continues to go from strength to strength. With the help of Pride, the City Council, Calabash will have some of the best music on the day with RnB, hip hop, old skool, ragga, reggae, Bollywood, funk, soul and disco.

There will be two Pride Information Points on the park – one at the entrance to the market place, where you can shop till you drop, and the other close to the entrance of the Women’s tent on the north side.

You will also find: A Market – Fun Fair – Food