The theme for Manchester Pride Parade 2016 has been unveiled. This year, it will be – drum roll, please – Once Upon a Time. This year’s theme aspires to turn the streets of Manchester into a fairy tale wonderland. Applications for organisations wishing to take part are now open.
The parade will take place as part of The Big Weekend celebrations over the August bank holiday. Starting on Liverpool Road, the parade will pass the Town Hall and the Gay Village before ending on Whitworth Street.
Over 100 organisations and 3,000 people participate in the march. It has been led by some of the most recognised faces in the LGBT community, including Orange is the New Black actress Lea DeLaria and national treasure Sir Ian McKellen.
Participants range from a number of businesses in the Gay Village, to a range of charitable organisations including The George House Trust, commercial organisations such as Nandos, and a selection of local community groups. The cast and crew of Coronation Street have been participating for the past six years.
‘As we reflect on years gone by in our wonderful city, we recognise many stories, moments, events and occasions that have occurred in order to allow us to reach the level of freedom that our LGBT communities enjoy today. Once upon a time allows us to look back, reflect and plan the next steps for the advancement of LGBT equality,’ said Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride.
Each year, floats are entered into The Manchester Pride Parade Awards which are judged on Parade Day by representatives from The Manchester Pride Board of Trustees, The Lord Mayor and sponsors.
Last year’s winners were:
Best Overall Float – Unison
Best Community/Charity Float – LGBT Youth North West (now The Proud Trust)
Best Walking Entry – Littleborough Oakenhoof Folk Arts Group
Best Public sector/Services Entry – Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue
Best Individual Costume – The Albert Kennedy Trust
Best Village Licensed Business – ON Bar
Organisations wishing to take part can apply online.