Let’s have a party to remember – that was the message today as 2017’s Leeds Pride extravaganza got under way.
Tens of thousands of revellers from across the North are descending on the city this weekend for its annual LGBT community celebration.
The main events will take place tomorrow, with entertainment spectaculars on Millennium Square and Lower Briggate as well as a float-filled parade through the city centre.
But there is also plenty scheduled for today, from a Leeds Pride run and a yoga session to craft activities and a rugby festival.
A marketplace-style information afternoon is happening from midday to 4pm at Leeds City Museum, with council staff from a number of departments on hand to offer help and advice on various topics.
Other entertainment today includes performances from the famous Viaduct Showgirls in the main atrium of the Trinity Leeds centre at midday, 2pm and 4pm.
The weekend’s headline acts are M People singer Heather Small, X Factor runner-up Marcus Collins and You’ll Never Stop Me From Loving You chart-topper Sonia.
Coun James Lewis, Leeds City Council’s LGBT champion, said the event offered “somewhere where people can come together to celebrate sexual diversity, gender variance, dignity and equality rights in a welcoming, inclusive atmosphere of fun and colour”.
He added: “Pride weekend is a truly wonderful, inclusive event here in Leeds, and we look forward to welcoming what we are sure will be another large crowd to enjoy the fantastic spectacle of the parade and also a variety of great entertainment.”
Council services involved with the celebration include Foster4Leeds, with dozens of carers and foster staff due to join tomorrow’s parade.
An accessible bus will also allow people with wheelchairs or mobility issues to take their place in the parade.
Transport bosses are warning that many city centre bus services will be affected by Pride-related diversions and road closures tomorrow.
For full details, visit www.wymetro.com or ring MetroLine on 0113 245 7676.