Liverpool held its first Pride festival this weekend, which saw 21,000 people enjoy a march and party.

The event, which had a rainbow circus theme, has been in planning for two years.

The date was chosen to be close to the anniversary of the death of gay teenager Michael Causer, whose murder shocked the city in 2008.

On Saturday, 3,000 people lined the streets to watch marchers and a parade wind through the city. Afterwards, a party was held on Dale Street with live acts on three stages.

Visitors also enjoyed art exhibitions, film screenings and sports tournaments.

In a statement, Pride organisers said: “We want to highlight how proud the Liverpool Pride organisers are of the city.

“It’s the first official Pride festival and we can put all the logistics in place and put the acts together. But we can’t create an atmosphere.

“So it’s a tribute to the people of Liverpool that the atmosphere was so fantastic.”

Liberal Party councillor Steve Radford added: “The Liverpool Pride event was a resounding success, many local people and visitors commented it was far more relaxed and enjoyable than the now world-famous Manchester Mardi Gras

“It is great news that Liverpool Pride now has a recognised charity to take us forward in future years.”

Organisers hope to make next year’s event ever bigger.