SKIPTON'S first ever 'Pride in the Park' event marks a major step forward in showing the town's support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, say the joint organisers.

The event in Aireville Park, on July 2, will mark the end of a month of film, workshops, comedy and music, jointly being laid on by Craven District Council and Skipton Town Council.

Craven Council's cultural services team, based at the town hall, has worked with community groups and organisations, Craven Youth Council, Skipton Library, SELFA, Craven College, Skipton Town Council and Pioneer Projects to raise awareness and promote equality.

A number of events marking Pride Month were put on at the town hall last year, soon after it reopened following its major refurbishment.

This year, a more ambitious programme includes a LGBTQIA film festival with 'uplifting and thought provoking' independent cinema and a Spice World Sing Along with 90’s Disco, featuring girl group, The Spice Girls.There will also be special Pride editions of Craven Museum's 'make and take' family crafts and Skipton Comedy Live.

Pride in the Park, largely organised by the town council, will take place from 12 midday until 8pm on July 2 and will include food and drink, and live entertainment including RuPaul’s Drag Race star Baga Chipz and musical group Abba Re- Bjorn.

There will be a fun fair, a pop-up GP surgery, mental health stalls and charity groups.

A 'get ready for Pride' event will take place at the town hall in the morning where young people can get together, make new friends and if they wish, paint their faces, before walking to the park together.

Afterwards, there will be a Pride 'after party' in the town hall, staring internationally renowned drag act, Velma Celli.

Councillor Simon Myers, council chairman and lead member for enterprising Craven, said: “We’re really excited to build on the success of our 2021 Pride events with an even more fantastic and diverse offer throughout June.

"Supporting our community and making sure everyone feels welcome and able to engage with cultural events and opportunities is at the heart of what we’re about, and we are delighted to have been able to partner with passionate and enthusiastic young people and community groups in the district on this brilliant programme.”

A spokesperson for Skipton Town Council, said: “We are looking forward to hosting Skipton’s first ever ‘Pride in the Park’. The event will be a fabulous family day for all ages, we welcome everyone to join us to celebrate Pride and step forward in progress and support of the LGBTQIA+ community. We hope this can become an annual event for the town.”

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