‘Blackpool will be rocking!’

Christopher Maloney
Christopher Maloney

Blackpool Pride Festival is set to be the biggest and best yet.

This year’s event takes place at the weekend and features stars like supergroup 5th Story and X-Factor’s Christopher Maloney (who knows Blackpool well – he performed at the Christmas lights Switch-On in St John’s Square).

Pet Shop Boys

Pet Shop Boys

It takes place across Blackpool on four stages.

The main stage will be in the Spanish Hall in Winter Gardens. That’s where all the top stars and acts will be appearing.

There is also a stage outside the venue, in St John’s Square, which will, say organisers, be full to the brim with local talent, as well as guest appearances throughout the day from celebrities.

On top of that there is an adult area in the Winter Gardens theatre bar. This is called Bitter and Twisted and features local stars Kitty Litter, Peggy Wessex and guests.

And for the first time there is a stage too in Hounds Hill shopping centre, were there will be workshops as well as celebrity appearances and some special cabaret performances.

The event starts with a parade at 11am on Saturday, before the stages get going at 12.30pm.

Tim James, in charge of organising the entertainment, said: “The line up this year is so exciting for us. It’s never been more packed with celebrity guests and amazing local acts.

“Blackpool will be rocking on all stages and there is truly something for everyone.”

Hayley Kay from Radio Wave will be there to do a spot of announcing and has the honour of introducing headline act 5th Story.

For those not in the know, this is a band made up of several star names, including Dane Bowers and Gareth Gates. It was formed last year for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion but will come together again in Blackpool specially for Pride weekend.

Kay said: “I am so excited to be involved with Pride this year. It has always been a great event for Blackpool and I am so glad to be asked to bring on the headliners on 5th Story – I can’t wait!”

The festival this year has eight partners and 15 sponsors.

The weekend kicks off with a parade from Central Pier to the Winter Gardens from 11am to noon. Gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell is travelling from London to take part. He will be giving a talk at 1.15pm in the Floral Suite. Get your tickets for that at the Welcome Desk on the day.

All events are free – get yourself down there and enjoy it.