In The South

Record crowds visit Isle of Wight to celebrate National UK Pride

July 28, 2018

Davina Sparkle steams into Ryde on the Isle Of Wight to celebrate Pride hot of the heels of Miss Jason who served champagne on the Hovercraft transporting VIPs to National UK Pride.

WHILST Miss Jason hosted her ‘Hoverferry’ to the Isle of Wight, I was frantically trying to get parked in Southsea. Despite barking instructions at my driver, we missed the VIP Hovercraft by 3 minutes.

However, another less noisy Hovercraft, arrived 15 minutes later, so I eventually arrived onto the Isle of Wight, just 20 minutes later, on a large Hovercraft with a big middle, so I suppose it could have been Miss Jason’s……

I’m afraid I missed the Parade, where the Rainbow flag was flown in by the Royal Navy, but I am reliably informed that thousands of revellers lined the streets of Ryde, young, old, Straight, Gay, Queer and Bi, it didn’t matter, and sounded amazing.

After picking up our wristbands from our hotel (it was so well organised), we headed towards the London Hotel Southampton Cabaret Tent, located in the main Arena on the beach; followed the dulcet tones of Martha D’Arthur to find Sandra, Mary Mac, Stephanie Von Clitz, Miss Jason, Asifa Lahore (from TV’s Muslim Drag Queens), Jade Justine, Dr Bev, Lulu, Wilma Fingerdoo, Alfie Ordinary, Lucinda Lashes and Cherry Liquor, all getting ready, alongside mainstage acts like Allan Jay, Danny BeardCharlie Hides, A Dolly Parton Tribute and the lovely Donna Marie as Lady Gaga.

The atmosphere in the main Arena was electric all afternoon with lots of people determined to have a great time. I must say how many younger ‘straight’ guys came along for the day out, locals having lots of fun, which was great to see. Main stage stars were Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst who was lovely and Gok Wan, who we bumped into later at the VIP Party at Fever in Newport.

Miss Jason said: “What a wonderful day it was and well done to the organisers. It was so nice to see so many lesbians, gay men, bi-sexuals, transgender and straights all work together with no attitude to make sure everyone attending had a fantastic time.”

The Isle of Wight beat of stiff competition to host UK Pride 2018. It’s only the second one they’ve staged on the Island, but “Bonnie” JF Tyler and his husband Mat, helped organise a massive and on the whole, well run event, I can’t wait to be asked back next year…

By Davina Sparkle

Photos by Simon Pepper Photography

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Parade Photos by Robby Deep Photography:

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