Exciting plans for Exeter Pride 2017

Exciting plans are being made for Exeter Pride on Saturday 13 May 2017.

It will be the biggest free celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) communities in the county of Devon - and is one of the first in the UK summer calendar of similar such events.

The ninth annual event will include the always popular rainbow flag parade from the St Sidwell Centre down Exeter High Street to Northernhay Gardens, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Library and Rougemont Gardens, where a packed programme of activities will await.

Last year thousands of people attended Exeter Pride and those taking part in the parade included community groups, firefighters, police, students, trade union and business LGBT+ groups plus individuals.

The parade also included roller skaters, Street Heat samba band, a fire engine, an ambulance, Morris dancers and volunteers carrying a 50-metre rainbow flag.

Those who support Exeter's LGBT+ communities are invited to join in the 2017 parade.

The events and activities during the day will all be family-friendly and include activities for children, young people and adults.

Plans include a bigger Pride Marketplace, including dozens of stalls from various organisations.

Also planned is a heath zone, workshops, film shows, panel debate, trans workshop and many other activities.

There will be information from local, national and international organisations, demonstrations, as well as fun activities.

In addition to a full programme of stage acts from local performers, bands, choirs and one or two exciting surprise guests throughout the day; a yet to be announced headline act will be hosting the Exeter Pride Live Eurovision Party in Exeter Phoenix during the evening.

Principal supporters last year included Devon County Council, The University of Exeter, The University of Exeter Students' Guild, Exeter City Council, Bill's Restaurant of Exeter, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Services, EDF Energy, Somerset College, Nandos, Patronus Security and Vaults Bar and Club.

Chris Scadden, the newly elected chair of Exeter Pride committee, said: "Exeter Pride is a celebration of the city and county's LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) communities.

"It is about us having pride in our contributions to not just a vibrant and diverse city, but all of Devon and the city and county having pride in us.

"It's also important that, in the 50th anniversary year of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act and the beginning of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, that Exeter and Devon show a message of hope, solidarity and support to International LGBT+ communities still facing oppression, imprisonment and often violence.

He added: "Exeter Pride would not be possible without generous donations from local businesses, organisations and individuals and the fundraising efforts of volunteers.

"Together with generous sponsorship from our partners, we are able to keep all our daytime events free-of-charge."

Mr Scadden thanked the 50 volunteers who help stage the event each year and said that without their support it would not be such a success.

He added: "We are currently welcoming approaches from those who would like to get involved as volunteers, have a stall or be a partner or sponsor."

To get in touch, email Chris: chair@exeterpride.co.uk or pr@exeterpride.co.uk 

Further information about Exeter Pride and other Pride committee-organised events during the coming year will be available on the website: www.exeterpride.co.uk  on Twitter: @exeterpride or Facebook: Facebook.com/exeterpride