Bradford's City Park to become ‘yellow brick road’ as gay rights event has Wizard of Oz theme

People enjoying the sunshine at last year’s Bradford Pride in City Park

People enjoying the sunshine at last year’s Bradford Pride in City Park

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

This year’s Bradford Pride festival is set to be “bigger and better than ever”, according to organisers of the event.

Now in its ninth year, the festival takes place in Centenary Square tomorrow.

The event, which attracted 10,000 people in 2013, is a celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights, and this year’s event has a theme for the first time, the Wizard of Oz.

The film has been chosen as a nod to its 75th anniversary this year, and one of the festival centrepieces will see the mirror pool in City Park temporarily transformed into the ‘yellow brick road’ for a costume parade, the best of which will receive a £100 prize.

“Everything is ready to go,” said Richard Scullion, publicity and media officer for Bradford Pride. “This will be the first time we have done the parade, and it will definitely be a highlight, with themed characters from the Wizard of Oz.”

Mr Scullion said that organisers had listened to feedback from festival-goers in previous years, leading to a more extensive programme of entertainment away from the main stage.

“We will have a wider range of market stalls, street theatre with various workshops, and this year also sees the return of the Youth Tent, with many activities available for a younger audience,” he said.

“There will also be a lot of local performers, as more local acts was a key piece of feedback we received.

“We want to build on the success of previous years, but there is much more going on this time and we hope to be bigger and better than ever.”

Headlining the festival’s main stage will be Nineties pop star Kavana, who appeared in ITV’s Big Reunion this year, and Bosom Buddies, who reached the semi-finals on last year’s Britain’s Got Talent with their cabaret tribute to the great divas. Local favourites Bears Aloud will be putting in an appearance, alongside R&B singer Jes Stretton and tribute acts to Pink and Jessie J.

The festival is organised by volunteers and wholly funded through donations and fundraising, with this year’s main sponsor being the Bradford-based social enterprise, Aspire-i.

Joanne Hainsworth, business development manager for Aspire-i, said: “Bradford Pride is a fabulous opportunity to bring communities together to celebrate similarities and differences.”

The festival runs from 1pm to 7pm in Centenary Square. For more information, visit bradfordpride.org.uk.

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