An assortment of colourful flags, a community coming together for a parade through Sunderland’s city centre and an event with a very important message – it can only be Sunderland Pride.
Now in its eighth year, the annual event is a celebration of community spirit and solidarity which everyone is invited to join in with, regardless of how they identify.
And this year the event takes place on Sunday 23 September, with a whole host of plans currently underway to bring some fantastic acts and entertainment to the city.
Perhaps the most recognisable aspect of Pride events are the parades and Sunderland’s will follow the same route as in previous years, starting at the civic centre’s Burdon Road entrance, before moving through the city towards the Park Lane Shopping Village where the Mayor will open the stage for the afternoon’s acts.
And with 2018 marking 40 years since LGBT+ activist and artist, Gilbert Baker, designed the rainbow flag in 1978, this year’s Sunderland Pride looks to celebrate the iconic symbol that has become synonymous with the LGBT+ community.
Chris Ramsay, chairman of the Sunderland Pride Group – which organizes the annual festival as well as a number of satellite events throughout the year – is looking forward to another fantastic year of Pride.
“We have been organising Sunderland Pride for a number of years now and every year we are looking to make it bigger and better than the last one,” said Chris.
“It is always a great day with an amazing atmosphere where people can be themselves without any judgement and just enjoy being with their friends and loved ones.
“We can’t wait to announce the acts we have booked, showcase some local talent and hopefully educate some people about Gilbert Baker and the wider LGBT+ community.
“And although Sunderland Pride may be the event that people most associate with the group, we organise things all year so we will also have more information on the day about the organisation and other events people can get involved with.”