Exeter Pride goes from strength-to-strength, delivering for the past ten years an annual free celebration of LGBT+ diversity and visibility.
ONE of the UK’s few remaining ‘free Prides’, the eleventh Exeter Pride will take place on Saturday, May 11.
To keep the event free for those attending, the trustees and volunteers who run it are appealing for individuals, businesses and organisations to back the charity’s appeal and raise £5,000 within the next two weeks.
Exeter Pride is Devon’s biggest celebration of the LGBT+ communities and one of the biggest free Pride events in the country.
Exeter Pride is a key annual event in the city’s calendar, recognised this month when it won Best Event in 2018 in the Exeter Living Awards.
On May 11 the event will include a colourful rainbow flag march through Exeter, and volunteers are wanted to help carry the enormous 50-metre rainbow flag through the city centre..
The march, beginning at 12 noon, will include a fire engine, an ambulance, police car, Street Heat, Morris Dancers, music and much more. Representatives from community groups and organisations as well as individuals will also be taking part to show their support.
The Lord Mayor of Exeter, Councillor Rob Hannaford will lead the parade and will officially open the main stage at the end of the march at 1.30pm.
Entertainment will include live bands and cabaret acts on two stages and there will be a marketplace with more than 80 stalls including a health zone, talking zone, family zone, workshops, film shows, panel debates, drumming, trans workshop, ceilidh and much more.
There will be information and advice from local, national and international organisations, as well as demonstrations and fun activities.
Adam Rank, chair of Exeter Pride committee, said: “Exeter Pride is a celebration of the city and county’s LGBT+ communities. It is about us having pride in our contributions to not just a vibrant and diverse city, but all of Devon and the city and county having pride in us.”
“Exeter Pride would not be possible without generous donations from local businesses, organisations and individuals and the fundraising efforts of volunteers.
“We are currently welcoming approaches from those who would like to get involved as volunteers, have a stall or be a partner or sponsor.”
He added: “We love Exeter Pride and we are proud of Exeter, but it costs in the region of £30,000 to stage it each year. This is why we are asking for financial donations.
“From road closures to toilet hire and from insurance to security, we rely heavily on donations to keep it going.”
Mr Rank said that there are many reward categories on the Crowdfunder site which people will find appealing.
He added: “Please consider making a Crowdfunder donation. We would really appreciate any contributions.”
Alan Quick, the co-founder of Exeter Pride, also appealed for people to back the appeal. He said he was delighted how the annual event had grown since the very first Pride in the city in 2009 and extended thanks to all those who had supported Exeter Pride since it began.
He said: “Without the support of previous trustees, volunteers, committee members, sponsors, partners and other supporters, as well as those currently involved, Exeter Pride would not be the tremendous annual event it is now.
“Year-on-year it has grown thanks to the active involvement of so many people.
“Those people have helped Exeter Pride fulfil its aims, to promote equality and diversity for the public benefit and in particular the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity through awareness-raising, advancing community education, and by holding an annual LGBT+ festival.
“Whilst Exeter Pride is a celebration of how far we have come with regards to equality, the charity is also keen to recognise and to educate on LGBT+ history, contributions to culture, and raise awareness of on-going LGBT+ struggles in the UK and further afield.”
A range of events LGBT+ events are being organised by Exeter Pride prior to the main event on May 11.
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