THOUSANDS of equality supporters will be joining forces to celebrate the “biggest, best and greenest” LGBT Pride event in the South West.
Now in its sixth year, Bristol Pride, which will include performances from M People’s Heather Small and the X Factor’s Amelia Lily, will take place in Castle Park on Saturday.
The free festival will also showcase bars, after parties, a roller disco, cabaret acts and stalls.
Director of Bristol Pride, Daryn Carter, said: “We are really excited about Saturday, it is going to be absolutely fantastic.
“This will be our biggest and best and greenest Pride so far and I am so proud of the amount of fantastic acts, stalls and organisations representing the LGBT community.
“I wouldn’t say I have a favourite act, but I think it will be a really special moment when Heather Small sings Proud.”
After hundreds of requests, this year’s parade route has been extended and will start in Queen Square at 11am and take in Baldwin Street, Union Street and The Horsefair before making its way to Castle Park.
It will be led by members of Lesbians and Gays Support the Miners (LGSM) and will have a “green rainbow” theme to mark Bristol’s status as European Green Capital.
“This is going to be the first Green Capital Pride and we are encouraging everyone to wear all shades of green,” Daryn said.
“We have also made this our greenest festival yet, we will have a free water station, we have implemented a reusable cup policy and we have asked all food vendors to avoid using plastic.
“In addition we have gone generator free saving one tonne in carbon, which, if it were laid out would stretch from here to Bristol in Maine, America.”
The organisers have teamed up with First Buses and anyone with a Pride wristband can travel for free in the centre.
Pride is a free event, although visitors are asked to make a donation of £3 if they can afford it on the day.
Daryn added: “We are a community event and we feel really strongly that it should be open to everyone, not just those who can afford it.
“In particular for the elderly and young people. I hadn’t come out to my parents when I was 15 and I wouldn’t have been able to ask my parents for money without them asking me what it was for.
“But this of course means we rely on donations and sponsorship.”
The festival will hold an official after-party in the O2 Academy and several pubs and bars in the city will be holding Pride themed events.