Leeds shows rainbow colours in loud and proud celebrations attended by thousands

A festival of love, colour and inclusivity brought around 35,000 people on to the streets of Leeds.

The 10th annual Leeds Pride event, celebrating the city’s LGBT community, played host to a vibrant parade through the city centre and an array of show-stopping performances today.

The festivities saw Soft Cell legend Marc Almond perform in Millennium Square before a marching band led a parade of open top buses, decorated floats and facepainted police, firefighters and ambulances workers from the square, along The Headrow to Kirkgate and Call Lane.

Click here to see a picture gallery of the 10th Leeds Pride

Rainbow flags, bubbles, a chorus of whistles and cheers waved on the floats, stilt walkers, cheerleaders and even TV stars like Emmerdale’s Mark Charnock and Michelle Hardwick.

Banners urging people to remember those killed in the Orlando nightclub shootings in June were also held high.

Revellers enjoy Leeds Pride 2016 in Millennium Square. Picture by Steve Riding.

Revellers enjoy Leeds Pride 2016 in Millennium Square. Picture by Steve Riding.

Maggie Jones, 60, of Leeds city centre, had a rainbow flag in hand on Cookridge Street. She said: “I think it’s brilliant we’ve made such strides – even in the last five years.

“A lot of the fear’s gone for people and they can be who they really want to be.”

Anne-Marie O’Brien, from Wortley, added: “Anybody can come and support – the atmosphere is just amazing.”

More fun is due to follow on a stage on Lower Briggate, with the likes of UK Eurovision duo Joe and Jake, Girls Aloud star Sarah Harding and Alexandra Burke performing to a huge crowd.

Transgender DJ Stephanie Hirst is also performing at Club Mission today after weekend Pride events including runs, film screenings, a vigil and sexual health events.

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