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Countdown to Wigan Pride festival is on

Crowds at last year's Wigan Pride
Crowds at last year's Wigan Pride

The countdown is on to another spectacular celebration of diversity and tolerance in Wigan this weekend.

The third Wigan Pride will turn the town centre into a colourful carnival for the LGBTQ+ community while building on the huge success of the 2017 event.

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Organisers hope to welcome thousands of Wiganers on Saturday for a rainbow parade to get the event under way and an afternoon of live entertainment on two stages.

Wigan Pride co-founder Zak Bretherton said: “I’m delighted we are fortunate to bring Pride back into Wigan for the third consecutive year.

“The overwhelming positive support from the community, businesses and local authority have allowed us to expand on what is sure to be another great Pride event.

“Our theme this year is growth within the community of which Wigan Pride itself is the epitome, growing from a vision into an established event and parading through Wigan is something myself and the committee are incredibly proud of.

“It’s no small task. A lot of voluntary hard work and passionate people coming together is what makes Wigan Pride a reality.

“This year we have extended our entertainment offer over two years and we have a few surprise additions to the set up.

“It’s a free and inclusive event for everyone to enjoy and I hope to see the people of Wigan and those who come from afar have a great time and celebrate diversity. Together we can make progress.”

The event’s rabbit mascot Unity will put in its first Pride appearance while local and acoustic acts will play outside the life centre on the new Believe Square.

Wigan Pride starts at 11am with a flower power parade making its way from Mesnes Park to Market Place where the main stage is located.

Organisers have arranged a packed Unity Stage line-up from noon including tribute acts to Lady Gaga and Dame Shirley Bassey, Michael T. Ogilvie and Josh Robinson.

Local talent on the bill includes singer Chris Cubas Winnard, Leigh drag act Lunaa Rose and Exleys Dance Academy.

Wigan Pride is organised by a committee including BYOU+, a group for LGBTQ+ adults in the borough, The Old Courts, Wigan Council, Wigan Clinical Commissioning Group and the LGBTQ Foundation.

The event is also backed by a host of sponsors including local businesses, the borough’s NHS trusts, Wigan Athletic and the club’s community trust.

Wigan Pride will also be an autism-friendly festival while the Face of Wigan statue has been painted rainbow and will be wearing special sunglasses.

For more information visit www.wiganpride.com