200,000 people turned out in Manchester to watch the city’s annual August bank holiday Gay Pride parade. An attempt by extremists to sabotage the event failed when only five members bothered to turn up.
The Demonstration that was organised by the rightwing extremist group, the National Front, ended up in humiliation when their five protestors were outnumbered by fifty Unite Against Fascism counter protestors.
Despite this, 45,000 revellers stayed on to enjoy 78 hours of non-stop partying in Manchester’s gay village. The long weekend was the culmination of ten days of events celebrating the city’s large and diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Stars including the chat show host, Graham Norton and Transylvanian pop sensation Cheeky Girls entertained the crowds on the AXM sponsored main stage.
The British Army and the Royal Air Force were one of a number of organisations supporting the event in the hope of attracting more gay recruits to join their ranks. Surprisingly, the Royal Navy could not take part as they claim to have too small a gay contingency to do the event justice.
Sgt Julie Frank from Greater Manchester Police, who was one of more than 30 police officers that took part, told Manchester’s Evening News ” it’s been fantastic. We walked to music for the first time this year.”
The event also included a mass blessing for gay couples embarking on a civil partnership when the law change comes into effect later this year and a candlelit vigil to commemorate the lives affected by HIV/AIDs.