Rollercoaster ‘Pride’ as festival turns 25

This youngster enjoyed taking part in Saturday's parade. DER3518-119KM
This youngster enjoyed taking part in Saturday's parade. DER3518-119KM

The organisers of the 25th anniversary Foyle Pride Festival have described this year’s celebration of all things lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) as a ‘rollercoaster ride’ and one of its biggest turnouts ever.

The Foyle Pride Committee thanked everyone who attended a packed programme of gigs, film screenings, theatre peformances, and talks, which culminated with the annual parade on Saturday and the Pride Ball on Sunday night.

“It’s been an incredible week, with incredible people, incredible support and incredibly emotional,” the committee said.

“It has been one of the biggest ‘Prides’ in our history. As such we’re taking a break for a few days but thank you to everyone who said kind words, bought badges, came to the events, sponsored the festival, shared our posts and photos, got in contact and volunteered, left cards, walked and cheered in the parade, all the cars who honked at us for support, for all the smiles from local staff in businesses when we’ve been getting teas and coffees to keep us going, and generally stood up for the LGBTQ community,” added the organisers.

This year the Derry tradtion of embracing the ‘Pride’ ethos continued with former civil rights leaders of the 1960s leading the parade on Saturday and the PSNI even decking their Land Rovers out in the rainbow colours.

“No amount of words can truly express the feelings of joy and gratitude that we have experienced this past week. It’s been a rollercoaster year organising it, as well as dealing with the political upheaval for not just LGBTQ rights but for civil rights in general.”