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The Comedy of Errors

Nottingham Sparkles with Pride

10 August 07 words: Davina Daniels
"All across the Arboretum Park you could see colourful crowds boogying, drinking and chilling out"
Nottingham Pride 2007 - crowd round the Arboretum bandstand
click image for a full gallery of photos from this event

During the morning flurry of activity, whilst cars queued through the Arboretum park to get to their stalls, the volunteer stewards and Pride committee members looked like the land of nervous breakdown was just around the corner. However, come midday and the official opening of the event, the stalls were set up, agencies were grabbing the chance to network and catch up with each other, everything was colourful and proud, and everyone smiley and ready to go.

This Yorkie has the pride spirit This was only my third Nottingham Pride (the event has been hosted by the Arboretum Park for 5 years now), but there was for me a noticeable difference from the last 2 years. 2006’s theme had been “celebrating diversity”- encouraging a wide range of different people to come along (many a small dog and child was to be seen as the families settled in the afternoon’s festivities) and featuring a wide variety of musical styles up at the Bandstand.

This year that ethos still spilled over, with lots of families around and several dogs subjected to a rainbow bandanna. However, this year’s theme of “sparkling with pride” allowed for a more pop-event feel to the stage acts, and the number of hostelries providing cold beer and camp entertainment ensured there was plenty of bopping and hugging in a dance-party way.

There seemed to be many more young people at the festival this year, either camping it up or generally showing their support for the lesbian, gay, bi and trans cause. Heart-warming to see, especially as these are the people who will influence what happens in the future with ‘tolerance’ and the embracing of difference.

A saucily camp apron at Nottingham Pride 2007After four hours talking to genuinely interested members of the public and professionals from other agencies, I packed away the “Outburst” LGBT youth group stall (not that there was much left of it – any freebies shot off the stall) to witness the other side of it all.

All across the Arboretum Park you could see colourful crowds boogying, drinking and chilling out around the bandstand. The Pride committee were hoping for 12,000 people to attend this year (almost double the 7,000 last year), and by the looks of it that target may have been met. As for feedback on the event from the “Outburst” LGBT youth group…well, they enjoyed the socialising and shopping, of course!

I thus spent the last hour doing what everyone else was doing - saying hi to mates, getting grass stains on my jeans and trying to co-ordinate the coming evening’s festivities with scores of different people, on the one night of the year when the LGBT community rules the roost in Nottingham. The official after-party was to be the Trent Student Union, with Bananarama heading the bill. But first, everyone joined in with the glorious tradition that has become the closing moments of Nottingham Pride, with the exhausted Pride committee up on stage leading the way for thousands to unite in a tuneless but enthusiastic version of “I am what I am”, reminding us why we were there, and why we’ll all do it all again next year.

Click here for the full gallery for this event

Outburst website
Nottingham Pride website

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