Thousands expected for Pride spectacle

The Mayor of Derry Colr. Martin Reilly helps to unfurl the Foyle Pride rainbow banner with Amy Lame, special guest, Joe Carlin, chairperson, and people attending the launch of the event at the Guildhall. (DER3413PG038)
The Mayor of Derry Colr. Martin Reilly helps to unfurl the Foyle Pride rainbow banner with Amy Lame, special guest, Joe Carlin, chairperson, and people attending the launch of the event at the Guildhall. (DER3413PG038)

Derry will be awash with rainbow colours, crowds and spectacle tomorrow as the 20th Foyle Pride Parade takes to the streets.

The organisers say potentially tens of thousands expected to converge on the city to be a part of 2013’s procession.

The Pride Parade forms the vibrant centrepiece of what’s been a packed week of Pride events, including art installations, fashion shows, comedy and live music.

Not only that, Derry’s historic Guildhall clock, and Free Derry Corner, have also turned a glorious shade of pink especially for the occasion.

Local people are urged to come out tomorrow and support the parade, which has become a colourful staple of Derry’s summer events.

The organisers say they want a family friendly carnival atmosphere. Historically, the Pride Parade saw hundreds marching for equality, and in recent years numbers have continued to swell.

This year’s parade sees marchers carry a giant rainbow flag for the first time, courtesy of Derry City Council. The festival’s primary purpose remains the same, to celebrate the lives of the North West’s LGBT community and to push for inclusion and equality for all.

Derry’s Mayor, Colr Martin Reilly hosted a special reception on Tuesday to launch Foyle Pride 2013 in style and turn the iconic Guildhall clock face pink - which it will remain for the duration of the festival.

Speaking at the reception, the Mayor told festival organisers: “I feel privileged to be part of the Foyle Pride celebrations and delighted that Derry City Council has played such a pivotal role in helping with the event.”

Yesterday, SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan praised festival organisers: “Through their courage, inspiration and tireless work in tackling all forms of homophobia, they are helping so many people in Derry and throughout the North West to enjoy equality in their lives,” he said.

“As a community we can show our solidarity with those who suffer this awful prejudice – both the latent homophobia of prejudiced remarks and the blatant homophobia of violent attacks – by supporting this important parade.”

Joe Carlin, Chairperson of Foyle Pride 2013 said: “This year the Parade will be leaving the Waterside Train Station at 2pm sharp on Saturday to make its way along the historical civil rights route to culminate in an afternoon of music and entertainment in the Guildhall Square. Please come and join us!” For more, visit: www.foylepridefestival.com or: www.facebook.com/foylepride.