THE first ever Tameside Pride was described as a resounding success… and there is a vow to make it an annual event.
It featured two big events in Stalybridge on Saturday, July 6.
There was a day-time family event at Cheetham Park which was free to enter and included a children’s playground, fairground rides, bar and food hall.
In the evening, the event transferred to The New Stalybridge Labour Club where there were cabaret, bands, singers and other acts.
Cllr Oliver Ryan, chair of the Tameside Pride organising committee, said: “It was a fabulous day and better than expected in every aspect.
“We had clickers counting the number of people going into the park and it was 2,000 which was more than we had hoped for.
“It was great to celebrate diversity and inclusivity. It was not overdone and it was a nice day in the park with a Pride theme.”
Cllr Ryan added it was “surreal” to see the fruits of their labours come to fruition.
He said: “It all came about from a conversation from a couple of us last year when we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be nice to have a proper Pride event?’
“We formed a committee and took it from there and less than one year later held the event which was a bit surreal.
“It has been a bit of a blur and I don’t envy event managers!”
Cllr Leigh Drennan, Tameside Council’s first openly gay civic mayor, attended both the day-time and evening events.
He described it as a “fantastic” day and he was taken aback by the size of the crowds at Cheetham Park.
Cllr Drennan explained while there had been other local pride events before including one at Broadoak Community Centre, Ashton, this was the first borough-wide one.
James, Tameside Pride Event Treasurer, said: “We were pleased to see it so well attended.
“I heard some amazing stories of people being able to be themselves in front of their families for the first time.”
Tameside Pride was put on by a passionate group of volunteers who wanted to celebrate LGBT+ and raise awareness and support in the borough. It was part of a nationwide festival which campaigns for LGBT+ equality, creating more opportunities that engage LGBT+ people.