Annual celebration of LGBT rights in city centre will have a theme for the first time

Bradford Pride event host, Mysti Valentine, performing for the crowds at last year's event

Bradford Pride event host, Mysti Valentine, performing for the crowds at last year's event

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

The wonderful Wizard of Oz will take centre stage at this year’s Bradford Pride celebration.

For the first time the event will be themed and the iconic film has been chosen to mark the 75th anniversary of its release.

Organisers have also announced that Aspire-i, the Bradford-based social enterprise, is sponsoring the festival on May 31. There will be several themed activities, including a £100 prize for the best costume.

Now in its ninth year, Bradford Pride is a celebration of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) rights.

Bradford Pride publicity and media officer, Richard Scullion, said: “We are very excited at having Aspire-i on board. Their vision of changing lives for the better through learning and work sends a clear message that being from the LGBT communities should be no barrier at all to succeeding in life.

“Their generous sponsorship also provides a significant chunk of our funding meaning we can really press ahead with the event on the assumption we will raise the rest between now and then.”

The event is organised by volunteers and wholly funded through donations and fundraising. Orgainsers say they aim to provide an opportunity to support people coming out, in addition to those who just want to celebrate their identity, and people from outside the LGBT community.

Last year 10,000 people enjoyed the celebration, market stalls and entertainment, and it is hoped this year even more will visit.

Joanne Hainsworth, business development manager for Aspire-i, said: “We are proud to be the main event sponsor of this year’s Bradford Pride.

“We are a social enterprise who works hard to improve people’s lives and we truly believe that a strong and resilient society is vital to the happiness and wellbeing of everyone. Bradford Pride is a fabulous opportunity to bring communities together to celebrate our similarities and our differences.”

Bradford Pride will be held from 1pm on Saturday, May 31, at Centenary Square.

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