Mascot unveiled as Wigan Pride draws nearer

The countdown to Wigan Pride is on and this year's festival will highlight people coming together thanks to its newly-named mascot.

Tuesday, 10th July 2018, 4:10 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:01 pm
The unveiling of the Wigan Pride mascot Unity

The rabbit which was chosen as the symbolic character for the borough’s celebration of the LGBTQ+ community has been given the name Unity following a public competition.

Other news: Fed-up Wigan shoppers left hot under collar by car parkWiganers were asked to come up with names on social media using the themes of love, equality and inclusion for inspiration.

The loveable bunny arrived in the borough last week and was officially unveiled at a meeting in Leigh town centre with the Mayor of Wigan Coun Sue Greensmith and the town’s MP Jo Platt.

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With the winner selected it is now full steam ahead to what promises to be another rainbow spectacle in Wigan town centre on August 11.

Wigan Pride committee member Daniel Bonney said: “This year we decided to introduce a mascot to the event to help embody our core values of equality and being community focused, but also to promote that as an event we are inclusive and suitable for everyone, including families and young people.

“Choosing a winner from all of the entries was difficult because there were so many fantastic suggestions.

“We wanted to choose a name that really epitomized the core messages and values of Wigan Pride, which I think the winning entry does really well.”

Unity will now be appearing throughout Wigan and Leigh to raise awareness of the event, which celebrates diversity and tolerance.

Wigan Pride committee member Zak Bretherton said: “We are so glad Unity is finally here! In the next month, during the lead-up to the event, they plan on travelling the borough, meeting people and spreading the messages of equality and inclusion, as well as seeing the borough’s landmarks.

“They will also be available for photos during the day of the event.”

So far the high-profile political figures who have met Unity have given the rabbit a warm welcome as well as publicly looking forward to Wigan Pride next month.

Ms Platt said in a recent video: “It is really important that we do have a Wigan Pride for our communities to feel valued and welcomed and not only that but for everybody to be included in the event and have fun.”

Organisers for the 2018 festival are pulling out all the stops following the enormous success of the 2017 Pride, which was graced by the presence of Wigan-raised acting superstar Ian McKellen.

Hundreds of people gathered in the town centre to see him lead the parade and speak on the main stage about the coming of a more open and less prejudiced world, while a select audience also enjoyed an exclusive evening with him looking at his career and the words that inspire him at The Old Courts.

Despite those high-profile events the committee member says the 2018 edition will be bigger and better than ever before and an unmissable occasion for Wiganers.

This year’s Wigan Pride has the theme of growth and community and just like last year will start with a colourful and spectacular parade making its way from Mesnes Park to the town centre.

Once there visitors will enjoy a packed afternoon of entertainment including award-winning Lady Gaga tribute act Donna Marie, Manchester Lesbian and Gay Chorus, Green Haze who perform the songs of American pop-punk act Green Day, Bud Sugar, Shirley Bassey tribute act Surely Bassey, Holly Bretherton and Exley’s Dance Academy.

Road closures will be in place during the parade.

Wigan Pride is on August 11 from 11am. Find out more on social media or at www.wiganpride.com