Ru Paul's Drag Race stars to headline Wigan Pride
and live on Freeview channel 276
Sminty Drop and Cheddar Gorgeous, who rose to fame on series four on the hit BBC Three show, will top the bill on the Unity Stage in the town centre next Saturday (August 12).
The stage has been sponsored by the event’s headline sponsor for 2023, Arnold Clark.
Group head of people at Arnold Clark, Lynne McBurney said: “Arnold Clark is committed to creating a culture and workforce that champions equality, respect, understanding and inclusivity.
“Guided by our five core company values – Family, Communication, Progression, Community and Recognition – our aim is to create a workplace that encourages every employee to be their authentic self, and support and encourage each individual so they can work to the best of their ability.
“By supporting Pride all year round, we contribute to this culture and foster a sense of community and inclusivity.
"From sponsoring Pride events across the UK to establishing our LGBTQ+ and allies’ network, Drive Together, to raise awareness of LGBT+ issues within Arnold Clark and beyond – we’re taking strides to develop a culture we can be proud of.”
The event will begin shortly after 11am on August 12 with a community parade leaving from King Street and travelling to Mesnes Park before heading back to Believe Square.
Action on The Unity Stage will begin at 11.50am, hosted by local presenter and performer, Claire Pilling, and Northern comedy drag queen, Misty Chance.
Natalie Pilkington, star of the smash hit musical, Six, will join artists from across the North-West to perform throughout the day including rising soul and R&B artist, Jes Stretton, upbeat duo, Ex’s and Ho’s, Damon Kerby, who merges his classical sax skills with house music, and trans artist Husk, who will bring 80’s synthpop and disco!
Two popular tribute bands will join the programme on the main stage with, Hey Beatles, who promise to deliver the ultimate Beatles experience, and AKA Noel Gallagher, who will close the event’s entertainment on the main stage at around 5pm, following a tribute to the former Oasis leader’s fantastic range of songs.
A BSL interpreter, provided by Topp Language Solutions, will also be available on this stage.
Wigan Council has backed Wigan Pride since the first event in 2015.
Lead member for equalities, Coun Paula Wakefield, said: “I’m so proud that we’ve been a supporter of Wigan Pride since day one.
“Local Pride events are so important to show that Wigan Borough is a place where everyone is welcome and where you can feel proud to be yourself.
“Pride has a serious message at its heart and there will be opportunities throughout the day to reflect and consider what still needs to change across the world.
“But it’s also a celebration of our diverse borough and I’m sure this fantastic lineup will give everyone a chance to relax and really enjoy themselves.”
Council-led youth group, BYOU, will manage the Believe Stage on Believe Square, from 12pm to 5pm, where visitors will be able to appreciate acoustic sets from up-and-coming local artists and enjoy some family-friendly entertainment, arts activities, and a Wigan Pride photography exhibition.