Nottinghamshire Pride is set to return to the city streets in a sea of colour for the first time since the start of the Covid pandemic – and police say they will be on hand to engage with the crowds and ensure safety.
Organisers have announced the annual celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community will take place on 11 September for the public to enjoy the brightly-coloured spectacle.
Nottinghamshire Police is backing the event which will be a boost for community engagement.
Plans have been stripped back with only the march planned to take to the streets of Nottingham due to the ongoing pandemic and government guidance.
This means the event will not feature any other activities or stalls that are usually arranged by organisers in previous years.
Members of the public will be welcomed back to celebrate the event but are being advised to wear face masks to keep themselves and other people safe.
People who are planning to celebrate the occasion have been asked to gather from 10am at the top of Albert Street, near St Peter’s church, all the way down to the Broadmarsh.
The march is then due to set off at 11am, passing through the city centre and dispersing at the end of Broad Street in Hockley.Organisers have worked with Nottingham City Council to make sure the event is well staffed and Pride-goers will be able to safely celebrate.
Revellers are also being asked to take a PCR test before taking part in the march.
The march itself is set to welcome up to 2,500 people but the number of event-goers may be substantially more based on turnout from previous years.
Officers from Nottinghamshire Police and Chief Constable Craig Guildford will also attend the march in a show of solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community.
The procession will also hold one minute’s silence as a mark of respect for the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.
Chief Superintendent Ian Roberts, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “With Pride held virtually last year there was no event in the city centre. This year the march will take place this weekend allowing people to show their support and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Even though the full celebrations aren’t taking place this year, the march should be able to give everyone something to enjoy and take part in.
“These celebrations are great for the Nottinghamshire community and for everyone to join in in celebrating LGBTQIA+ and a show of solidarity against hate crime.
“As a force we welcome the chance for this festival to take place again this year and have engaged and provided guidance to organisers and stakeholders to help plan the event. They are in charge of stewarding the event and maintaining the safety of those taking part in this event.
“Our involvement as a force will be to ensure the event is supported. Our officers will seek to engage with those attending to further strengthen the links that exist between the police and LGBTQIA+ community.
“We have a proud history of supporting the event and are proud to do so this year.
“We want everyone to have a great day and join in the march but also show that we will not stand for any hate crimes or incidents against those wishing to celebrate.
“For those not involved in the procession but using the City centre and road network I want to thank them in advance for their patience and support with regards to any minor disruption to the roads during the procession.”
Chief Constable Craig Guildford said: “Nottinghamshire Pride is an incredibly important part of the annual calendar and I’m thankful that this year the celebration is able to take place.
“And once again this year’s celebration is another example of how we can be unified behind a strong, positive message and for members of the public to show their support for the LGBTQIA+ community.
“I look forward to joining in the celebrations myself and being able to show that Nottinghamshire Police are committed as a force to ensuring we represent the people we serve.
“I take a personal interest in ensuring all our networks and staff associations have a voice that is heard and making sure we listen and learn.
“In addition as an employer of choice, we are committed as a force to ensuring we represent the people we serve.
“And that’s why we continue to focus on all aspects of diversity within our workforce.”