HUNDREDS of thousands of revelers enjoyed a weekend in the sun as Brighton Pride returned for the first time in two years.
The streets were packed with people, color and noise for the belated 30th anniversary of the annual extravaganza, which was delayed due to the pandemic.
The city was bustling with life on Saturday as hundreds of thousands visited, while Sunday was a little quieter but also packed as expected.
One of the main attractions of Pride, the huge community parade, started at Hove Lawns in the Kingsway with many familiar faces including Council leader Phelim Mac Cafferty, Kemptown MP Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Hove MP Peter Kyle , and Sussex Police Chief Constable Jo Violet.
Paul Kemp, Managing Director of Brighton and Hove Pride said: “After two years of not being able to celebrate, we are delighted that Brighton Pride has returned to our city for its 30th anniversary. It was an amazing weekend of love, protest and unity, our theme for this year.
“The LGBTQ+ Community Parade opened the weekend in style with local charities and organizations, as well as representatives from other Pride organisations, including Ukraine Pride, and human rights activists marching through the city right on the front lines, as attendees and people excited streets around the event to pursue.
“Christina Aguilera gave a stunning performance alongside over 100 other incredible LGBTQ+ artists for our We Are Fabulouso fundraiser. It’s been a spectacular weekend for our city and the LGBTQ+ community as we celebrate our 30 years of campaigning while committing to continue the fight until we are free to live and love equally.”
The kilometer-long parade began at 11am with hundreds of diverse groups marching on large floats, roller-skating and dancing down the Kings Road.
She turned left up West Street to the Jubilee Clock Tower before going down North Street and past the Royal Pavilion.
Thousands followed him on his slow procession to Preston Park, where the We Are Fabuloso festival was taking place.
The place was packed for headliner Christina Aguilera, who wowed fans with songs like Lady Marmalade, Candyman and Dirrty.
Near the pavilion, people could be seen on bus stops while others lined the streets and even rooftops to grab the best seat in the house.
Rescue workers were seen all over the city, all painted in Pride colors. Some people held signs that read “No Cops at Pride.”
Four friends, who gave their names as Shirley, Osayi, Melanie and Maddie, came to Brighton Pride for the first time and were dressed up for the occasion.
“We will definitely come back next year,” they said.
The festival kicked off with drag queen Tia Kofi before the launch of Call Me Loop, then L Devine, Bimini from 4.45pm, Raye, Todrick Hall, Ella Henderson at 7.45pm and the long awaited Christina Aguilera at 9.15pm who was joined by a Ecstasy was greeted crowd.
There were several other genres for people to enjoy including the Gaydio Dance Tent which featured lasers, bass and lots of dancing.
Sunday’s lineup consisted of Lyra, Cat Burns, Bjorn Again, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Jake Shears and Paloma Faith, who took the stage as The Argus went to press.
There was also a street festival along St James’s Street in Kemp Town.
Organizers said there were around 300,000 people in town but Sussex Police said there had been just 37 arrests, mostly for drug-related and intoxicated and disorderly offences.
A spokesman said: “As a force, we are working with partners to support the organizers of the Pride event to minimize disruption to the local community, prevent crime and disorder, and ensure a safe environment for Pride attendees and the surrounding community create.
“Sussex is a force experienced in policing large events like this and Saturday’s events proceeded as planned with no major incidents.
“As part of the Brighton Pride operation, 37 arrests were made on Saturday, the vast majority of which were related to drug offenses and public order offenses linked to high levels of intoxication.
Police action continued throughout Sunday and we continue to encourage people to enjoy a safe and responsible Pride.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20606849.hundreds-thousands-enjoy-return-brighton-pride/?ref=rss Hundreds of thousands rejoice at the return of Brighton Pride