Reading Pride's annual parade promises to unite those in the campaign for equality and diversity. The spectacular march against discrimination will be led by local supporting businesses, organisations and citizens.
The theme this year is 'Enchanted Garden' and the best dressed person will win themselves and a friend complimentary entry to the VIP area, The Enclosure, at the Pride festival!
Reading Pride Parade Director, Andy Adams says 'Reading has always had one of the most community focused Pride festivals in the country and the parade is playing an increasing part in the festivities on the day. The event has grown in scope and numbers in recent years, and despite the limitations of the town centre restricting the use of floats that other towns showcase, we will be demonstrating the Pride spirit alongside several hundred people turning Broad Street into an arena for diversity. It is great to see the positive response from shoppers and local businesses along the route, many of whom choose to get involved and support the celebration diversity in the Thames Valley, our community groups and also our volunteers.'
The Reading Pride festival and parade has been organised annually since 2004 and attracts visitors and support from across the region. Participants include the police and rescue services, local charities and organisations, trades unions, political parties, local gay venues and the ordinary members of the public, all of whom show their support by participating and volunteering.
In the past, the Reading Pride parade has been the subject of protest threats. Members of the far-right National Front attempted to organise a demonstration as the parade was due to pass through Market Square. The demonstration failed to take form. Mr Adams comments 'the difficulties we have faced in previous years are a vivid reminder that despite social and legislative progress in many areas of LGBT rights, there are still many hearts and mind to be won as people out there still seek to deny LGBT people the same rights.'
The parade will be kicking off at the Civic Centre, Reading at 11.30am. Be sure not to miss it as Reading Pride have a fantastic surprise in store for you. The parade will meander down through the Broad Street Mall, Market Square and Forbury Gardens before arriving at Kings Meadow at 12pm where everyone can enjoy our top acts, attractions and the bounce-tastic family and children's area.