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Pride finds its home on Comedy Carpet

Blackpool Pride 2018. Pride Angel Sophie Ball.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 9-6-2018
Blackpool Pride 2018. Pride Angel Sophie Ball. PIC BY ROB LOCK 9-6-2018
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The new ‘forever home’ of Blackpool’s annual Pride festival has been revealed.

The celebrations for the town’s LGBT community will take place next year on the Tower Festival Headland, outside the Blackpool Tower.

Pride co-ordinator Callum Gillies said: “The council has been trying to push for us to go onto the Comedy Carpet, pictured below, and while I was a bit reluctant at first because I didn’t want to move Pride away from the gay venues, after speaking with the venue managers and police they are positive about the decision.

“We had nearly 5,000 people at Pride this year and I want to double that next year. Being on the Comedy Carpet we are hoping to have the capacity to do that.”

For years Blackpool’s Pride celebrations were held inside the Winter Gardens.

However, this year organisers cancelled the festival’s two-day booking in an act of protest against controversial American preacher Frankling Graham, who opposes LGBT rights, and is due to speak at the venue this autumn.

Instead the rainbow flag flew high in the open air, as stalls and celebrations were moved to Princess Parade, near the Metropole Hotel, for the annual event on June 9 and 10.

Mr Gillies said: “As much as this year was a great success, we want to have the ability to build on capacity.

“I’ve been told by police that it’s had the least number of incidents of any other Blackpool Pride.

“Future Prides will stay on the Comedy Carpet so there’s continuity.

“Next year’s Pride will take place on June 8 and 9. We haven’t set a theme yet but we are looking at a summer party or beach theme.”