Wigan’s Pride festival will be back this year and organisers will have to pull out all the stops to match the success of last year’s star-studded event.
The organising committee confirmed the borough will once again celebrate its LGBTQ+ community in Wigan town centre on Saturday, August 11.
Last year thousands of people descended on Market Square for a day of entertainment with Wigan-born acting legend Ian McKellen leading the parade as headline guest.
Details of the 2018 event, which will be Wigan’s third Pride, are so far being kept under wraps.
However, the organisers are keen to start whetting the appetite for the event and have chosen February as LGBT History Month to officially launch the festival.
Zak Bretherton, chair of Wigan Pride committee and managing director of community group BYOU+, said: "We are excited to announce the date of Wigan Pride 2018 in collaboration with the young people at BYOU.
"LGBT history is something very important for the community.
"It’s an opportunity to recognise the journey to have some of the rights and protection we have fought for over the years.
"Last year marked 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK and it is still illegal in over 70 countries.
"It’s important to appreciate the freedoms we have today and that is one reason why Pride events are so important to the LGBTQ+ community.
"Wigan Pride is a real celebration of the diversity we have in the borough regardless of sexuality, gender, age, race, religion or ability we are all human and deserve to be proud of our identity. Wigan Pride is for everyone."
LGBTQ+ youth group BYOU has worked on an art piece to launch the festival celebrating diversity and exploring gender, sexuality and identity, which is on display in the Museum of Wigan Life.
Wigan’s Pride is also unusual as an autism-friendly event and is supported by Wigan Council, The Old Courts and other
Town hall chief executive Donna Hall said: "For a while we were the only borough in Greater Manchester not to have a Pride, so I think it’s brilliant that we now have the festival."
For more information visit the official website at www.wiganpride.com