Ely Cathedral’s Octagon Tower will be lit up in rainbow colours to celebrate Pride in Ely 2019.
On August 9th and 10th, the Octagon tower will display rainbow lights to show its support for “all God’s children”.
Ely’s second ever Pride Festival will take place on August 10th outside the Maltings.
The Very Reverend Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely Cathedral, said: “We are very pleased to support Pride in Ely for the second year running because we want to celebrate all God’s children.
“Everybody is made in the image of God. We don’t discriminate through age, colour, creed, sexual identity or anything else.”
Special prayers will be said to celebrate diversity and “acceptance of all people” in the lead-up to the festival and on the evening of August 10th, the Octagon will be lit up in rainbow colours.
Mayor of Ely, Councillor Mike Rouse, said the City of Ely Council puts inclusiveness “very high on its agenda” and he is “delighted” to support Pride, which celebrates the contributions lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people make to society.”
Tracey Harding, of Visit Ely, said: “Last year’s event was absolutely amazing, it brought everybody together and we’re really pleased that we’re going for year two.”
The festival marks 50 years since the Stonewall riots, when violent confrontations took place in New York between police and gay rights activists. The riots gave birth to the international gay rights movement.
Mark Briggs, who will host Pride in Ely as his alter ego, Felicity Flappes, said society has “changed immensely” in 50 years but people still get persecuted for being different.
“Fifty years on, we’re saying Pride is a party, it’s a celebration of our history, it’s a celebration of our rights, a celebration of our determination to be here – but it’s also about educating children of the future to accept difference.”
This year’s Pride Festival will take place from 10am to 4.30pm outside the Maltings, with the Mayor officially opening the event at 12.20pm.
Pride in Ely chair Claire Giannandrea said: “There is tremendous energy and pride within the Ely community and it’s lovely to see it grow every year. The team have worked hard and we just can’t wait to see everyone again having fun.”
Pride in Ely 2019 will include children’s entertainment, an array of stalls and refreshments, as well as entertainment from For the Hornets, A Kind of Freddie and other acts.
Local dance troupe 4th Dimension will perform a diversity themed dance, donning Pride in Ely t-shirts.
Libby, whose son Harry, 15, is taking part in the opening dance, said she was “very proud” of 4th Dimension for teaching young people about “the ethics they promote with their dancing”.
Fritha Love, of Pride in Ely, said organisers were “overwhelmed by the support” they received for the city’s first event last year, which “brought the community together”, and hoped this year’s free festival would draw the same support.
There will also be a free Pride after party at Riverside Bar and Kitchen from 7pm on the same day.
For more information click here
Photo credit Tali Iserles
Press release from Pride in Ely