10,000 people took to the streets of Nottingham last Saturday (29 July) to celebrate the annual Nottinghamshire Pride event, making it the biggest turnout the charity has seen yet.
With the sun shining favourably on the day, the Pride parade saw a rainbow of marchers progress through the city’s streets celebrating the LGBTQ+ community under the theme of ‘Together’ and culminated in Hockley and the Lace Market for on-stage acts for the gathering crowds.
Hosted by drag queens Nana, Marilyn, Selma, Tess and Jade (Notts Hosts) the lineup included performances from Tania Stevenson, Lace City Chorus, Twisted Pole, GIRLBAND, Zandra, NHS Poetry, Ashly Song, Kitty Tray, Rob Green, Lyvia, Yay Maria, Liv, as well as included speeches from Nottingham East MP Nadia Whittome, Councillor `
Notts Pride is organised and run by a group of dedicated volunteers through the support of sponsors and donations. The chair, Leigh Ellis, and deputy chair, Craig Martin, said they were overjoyed with the day’s turnout.
“We always want the turnout to be the best yet, of course, but this year went beyond expectations. So many people turned out to support the LGBTQ+ community that the march went on for an extra 20 to 30 minutes than we had planned.
“It’s wonderful to see the community and allies come together in such a force and celebrate together.
“We couldn’t be more pleased. On the day and since I’ve spoken to a lot of people who have been telling me what a great day they had. The whole of the Lace Market and Hockley was lit up and enveloped in colourful and proud fun.
“Notts Pride started 27 years ago, and in that time the LGBTQ+ community has come a long way and has made so much progress. But there is still a long way to go yet. We’re still facing issues of marginalisation, and prejudice, and there are still people who need support such as the trans community, and those living with HIV/AIDS.”
Notts Pride works in close collaboration with the Nottingham City Council to organise the March, which began at St Peter’s Square, wound its way through Wheeler Gate and Old Market Square, and ended on George Street.
As well as the main stage, Notts Pride 2023 also had a secondary stage on Broadway’s Mezze bar with a glamorous performance by Nottingham’s Charity Shop Sue. Additionally, Hockley’s streets were lined by almost 60 stalls, and a new quiet area was introduced in St Mary’s Square where many families and friends gathered in groups to have a break from the festivities.
Craig Martin, deputy chair of Notts Pride, said: “I guarantee everyone who attended Notts Pride has, at some point in their life, felt unheard, unseen, or as if they didn’t belong. That is why Pride is so important to us because it tells people who need it that they’re not alone. Our theme for this year was ‘Together’ for this very reason.
“The event was such a success massively in part thanks to our sponsors and the generous support of the public. We hope everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly and we can’t wait to make next year even better.”