Written By: Carys Lewis 15/8/15
Some 2,500 people joined the parade through Cardiff to promote diversity and equality, before hundreds more joined the Pride Cymru party at Coopers Field.
The streets of Cardiff city centre became a riot of colour and fun as Pride Cymru ended a dreary week with one big party on Saturday.
Wales’ biggest celebration of diversity and equality took to the capital’s streets 30 years after the first LGBT March in Wales took place.
The event, previously known as Cardiff Mardi Gras, also marked the 16th year of the inception of Pride Cymru.
More than 2,500 people joined the parade, which weaved its way along some of the city’s busiest streets including Churchill Way, Queen Street and The Hayes, as hundreds of flag-bearing shoppers and supporters lined the streets and blew whistles in a show of solidarity.
Among those taking part was Welsh lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) charity Stonewall Cymru – who carried placards with messages including ‘Some people are trans. Get over it’ – South Wales Police, and LGSM (Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners), who are the real-life inspiration to the hit film, Pride.
The march also boasted a number of people who took part in the original 1985 parade, which was met with a wave of hostility that was nowhere to be seen yesterday.
The procession kept moving with a carnival atmosphere thanks the sounds of Samba Doc, who travelled from Pembroke Dock with drums in tow, as well as South Wales Gay Men’s Choir, who went down a storm with their renditions of Katy Perry’s I Kissed a Girl, Welsh favourite Delilah, and party classic YMCA.
Chorister Craig Stephenson was full of praise for the crowds, who lapped up the group’s performances, adding: “The crowd has been great and of course the sun has helped.”
Ex-Big Brother contestant Glyn Wise, who is standing for Plaid Cymru in next year’s Assembly elections, also took the opportunity to march to promote his political campaign as well as his call to stamp out homophobia in sport.
Supermarket chains Tesco and Asda also made their presence known, with employees from both donning colourful T-shirts to take part in the parade and Tesco dishing out free bottles of water to people on the march.
After bringing the streets to a standstill, the party then continued at Coopers Field, where a host of fairground rides, a family zone, vintage tea tent, a faith tent, quiet zone and access area, all awaited revellers, who poured in in their thousands.
A social hub offering advice and support to LGBT communities, and their friends and family, was also on-hand.
A number of local acts, including Cwmbran-based Cwtch, got the crowds warmed up ahead of the evening’s main music event, which saw former Cardiff X Factor hopeful Helen Thulthorpe take to the stage to perform her new single Ashes to Ashes.
She was joined by a string of other performers, including fellow X Factor wannabe Lloyd Daniels, Europop duo Snap! and a number of cabaret acts, before Lucy Spraggan’s set brought with it an added surprise for the audience, as one party-goer got down on one knee to pop the question to another.
Headliner, Britain’s Got Talent judge and songstress Alesha Dixon, then performed to a packed-out, pumped-up field to round off the event, which was described as “a huge success” by organisers.
The festivities then continued in to the early hours with an after-party at Pulse nightclub, which is in the heart of Cardiff’s thriving gay scene on Churchill Way.
Zazz Walker, spokesman for Pride Cumru, said: “The whole event has just been absolutely fantastic, the atmosphere has been incredible.
“The vibe this year has been really good, and I think that’s down to the fact that Pride gets bigger every year and that this year we’re also marking two anniversaries.
“The weather hasn’t been at all bad either.”
He added: “I think the message we are trying to get across is spreading year on year and the support is just great.
“There’s a young vibe here this year, which is really good as in the past people have said they thought it’s just an event for the older ones.
“But it just shows that these are issues which can affect anyone of any age, and equality should be celebrated by everyone.”
Source: Wales Online http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/pride-cymru-2015-hailed-huge-9864754