The celebration of the local LGBT+ community will begin with a Pride parade that will travel along North End, through central Croydon and past the town hall, to the main festival area in the Queen’s Gardens where there will be live music, dance, food and drink for all to enjoy.
The festival which will also feature stalls and exhibits, will have cabaret and comedy on offer until 8pm, followed by a number of after parties. The theme of this year’s event will be 50 years of LGBT equality – marking the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Act that partially decriminalised homosexuality.
Last year, saw the return of ‘Pride’ to Croydon for the first time in decades. Around 500 people participated in the colourful parade down North End and more than 3,000 people attended the event on Surrey Street, making it the second largest Pride within the M25.
Popular cabaret act ‘Topping and Butch’, known for their appearances at Edinburgh Festival and on Radio 4, will be returning as one of this year’s headline acts, with more acts due to be confirmed in the coming months.
Councillor Mark Watson, cabinet member for economy and jobs, said: “I am thrilled PrideFest is returning to Croydon following the overwhelming success of last year’s event. Croydon is a wonderfully diverse borough and the return of the festival will ensure our LGBT+ community is celebrated.
“Croydon Pride is about spreading hope that not only are things getting better for the LGBT+ community, but that they will continue to improve thanks to those who have and continue to, battle for equal rights both in the UK and abroad. It’s also a chance to remember the LGBT+ people in many parts of the world who still suffer persecution, imprisonment, violence and death.”
Paula Goodwin, chair of the newly formed Pride steering group, added: “It’s great to see the return of Croydon Pride after last year’s fantastic event. I’m delighted the council and police continue to show their support to Croydon’s LGBT+ community and their commitment to ensuring the borough is a safe and welcoming destination for all.”
Anyone interested in helping at Croydon Pride or for more information on the event, email firstname.lastname@example.org