Derry’s iconic Guildhall clock will turn pink later today in support of the 2013 Foyle Pride Festival, which launches in the city tonight.
Celebrating its 20th birthday this year, Foyle Pride has organised a series of events this week for the North West’s LGBT community. Derry’s Mayor, Martin Reilly, has also thrown his support behind the annual event.
Speaking ahead of the Festival launch, Mayor Reilly said he was delighted to be attending the event and hoped thousands would come along this weekend to support what promises to be a celebratory occasion for the city.
“This weekend’s Foyle Pride Festival promises to be another unique event for the city when we unite in celebrating all aspects of our city’s diversity,” the Mayor said. “The gay, lesbian and transgender community play a very significant part in shaping our city and in making us the progressive, open minded and confident city that we are. A proud supporter of the Festival, I am delighted to be in the position to turn the Guildhall clock pink today for the duration of the festival.”
The Mayor continued: “As the City of Culture we are moving forward at a significant pace, celebrating all cultures and communities and encouraging equality for all. 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. A lot of hard work and determination has been ongoing behind the scenes for the past 20 years to get to where we are and I am confident this weekend’s Foyle Pride celebration will be another hugely successful event for Derry,” the Mayor added.
The programme kicks off this evening (Tuesday) with multi award-winning writer and performer Amy Lamé opening the festival at 8pm in An Cultúrlann. Saturday will see the annual Foyle Pride Parade, which has become a colourful staple of Derry’s summer and boasts a unique family friendly carnival atmosphere.
Joe Carlin, Chairperson of Foyle Pride 2013 said: “The Festival this year has a high level of support from Mayor Martin Reilly and The Culture Company, and I would like to say an extra big thank-you to Derry City Council for their help in procuring Foyle Pride’s very own giant rainbow flag which will be proudly carried through the city during the parade.
“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, over the Craigavon Bridge, up Carlisle Road, past The Diamond and down Shipquay Street to culminate in an afternoon of music and entertainment in the Guildhall Square. Please come and join us!”
For more information about the wide selection of events, activities and birthday bash as well as tickets, please visit: www.foylepridefestival.com or: www.facebook.com/foylepride.