It feels a little weird writing about this so long after the event, but given there’s a glimmer of sunshine in the sky, I think it’s a little fitting.
Pride is always a fantastic weekend (come rain or shine) – I admit I may be a teeny bit biased, it’s usually my birthday weekend, so a little extra special for me. It’s also the same weekend as Bolton Food and Drink Festival, so once again, this August Bank Holiday saw me dashing from one event to another.
But it was oh so worth it.
Saturday morning saw Cheryl and I heading to Key 103 – we had been invited to take part in the Parade with them, and suitably glittered up, and with purple pompoms in hand, we headed to Liverpool to meet the bus, and see the other walkers, floats and costumes.
The atmosphere is, as ever, electric. I’ve been lucky enough to walk in the parade before, so I know the route, the atmosphere and the experience well. It’s so much fun. Spotting friends in the crowd, the singing, dancing. There really is nothing like it. The city is happy, excited, and it’s the one time a year that anyone can be who they are without worries or fear.
As it should be every day, but for too many isn’t.
And the parade is always over far too quickly for my heart, but plenty fast enough for my feet!
Now it was time for the event itself.
I was lucky enough to be given VIP access to the Thomas Cook Airlines USA Stage. This gave us access to a balcony overlooking the USA Stage above the crowds with a fantastic view of the stage, a great bar and, I don’t mind admitting, best of all, proper loos.
Oh yes. No portaloos for this bird. Although I did feel for some of the Coronation Street stars who were caught returning from said posh loos for a photo or autograph. It seemed a little… intimate.
Back to the stage – the acts were fantastic. The sound, the crowd, as we sipped our beers with a stunning view goosebumps ran down my arms, almost constantly. And it was nothing to do with the evening chill. Gok Wan kicked off the evening crowd with classics that got arms in the air, feet off the floor and energy levels soaring.
Pride was everything it should be. Crowded, busy, full of love, full of fun, and friends and family.
So we put down our phones. And dove in.
With huge thanks to Thomas Cook Airlines, and to Cheryl – not only for being my date, and being downright awesome colmpany, but for most of these images whilst I was fighting for signal!