On July 26 the flow of people rising from the Underground emerged into the dim grey light of a London summer’s day. Music filled the air as the surrounding humanity dispersed in every direction. Which way to the parade? I thought, somewhat disorientated after the recent subterranean journey. Then they appeared: holding hands were a couple of shirtless sailors in very short shorts weaving their way through the crowd.
Turning the corner, thousands of people were revealed parading along the north bank of the river Thames. Our History, Our Future was the theme of this National Pride Parade. Divided into five sections, representing each decade since the 60s, floats and costumes commemorated events and personalities of importance. Community groups and individuals rejoiced in their part of the 30-year history of London Pride.
Winding its way past the Houses of Parliament, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus, the parade received cheers and applause from the thousands who lined the streets and waved from windows and balconies above. The Queen Elizabeth gates at Hyde Park saw the conclusion of the parade and the start of the Pride In The Park celebrations.
With three major dance areas, five entertainment bars and hundreds of market stalls, this was like Fair Day and Harbour Party combined. Except of course for one thing -“ the sunshine. Oh well, this is London.
The ever gorgeous temptress Georgina and her partner Cheryl joined in a mass commitment ceremony performed at the Blessing Tent by the Metropolitan Community Church of North London. As in many other major cities around the world, same-sex marriages are high on the agenda here.
Boy George, Judge Jules and Wayne G were amongst the 30-plus DJs who kept the dance floors pumping well into the night -“ also a great escape from the rain. Meanwhile, on the main stage the darling Tina C played hostess introducing performers such as Bananarama, Dead or Alive, Marc Almond and Jimmy Somerville -“ non-stop great entertainment.
Alas, this party had to end. Enough of these grey skies and rainy days, I’m off to San Francisco for some sunshine. Ciao for now, Mazz.