SLIDESHOW: Festival of colour and noise shows town’s Pride in style

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The Golden Mile was awash with colour and music as the resort’s Gay Pride Festival rolled into town.

Blackpool’s gay community celebrated their sexuality in style with a vibrant parade running from Central Pier to St John’s Square as the annual event returned to the town on a gloriously sunny day.

Blackpool Gay Pride Festival - Kim Shennan and Sue Mannion

Blackpool Gay Pride Festival - Kim Shennan and Sue Mannion

Brass and samba bands provided the feel-good music, while members of the police, fire service and even the 
skaters of Blackpool’s Roller Derby League joined the Promenade procession.

Hundreds of onlookers turned out to watch the 
parade go by, and all were supporting the festival for their own reasons.

Dee Turner, 54, from North Shore, was watching the parade with her partner, Irene Dickman, 61.

Miss Turner said: “It’s great to see the sea front packed with people, and this sends out the right message about Gay Pride.

“It’s a good event for tourism, and gets people down to the Promenade.”

Lesley Teckoe, 55, was visiting the resort from Birmingham. She said: “My son is gay and I’m a very proud mum.

“I come to Blackpool every year and I love it. It’s great to see the town so busy.”

Sarah Rickerby took part in the parade with her Blackpool Barefoot Bellydancers group.

She said: “We did this last year and always want to show our support.”

The parade, while one of the most elaborate and lively parts of the weekend, was only the beginning for many, who followed it by partying in various bars around the town, and browsing themed-stalls set up in the Winter Gardens.