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Boyband 5ive to headline Canterbury Pride which kicks-off on Saturday

Pride returns to Canterbury in all its colourful glory on Saturday in what promises to be a joyous celebration of the LGBTQ+ community.

The free event is back after a hiatus following its cancellation last year due to the Covid pandemic.

Insta Wall plays the crowd in 2019
Insta Wall plays the crowd in 2019

Thousands of supporters are expected to pour into the city for the festival, which begins at 10.30am in the Dane John Gardens with a DJ set on the main stage.

At 11.30am a vibrant parade will be leaving Westgate Gardens in carnival style, making its way up the High Street to the park.

The festival’s marketing and sponsorship director Jon Fitter-Harding says he is delighted it will be the first large-scale event in Canterbury for more than 18 months.

“We’re really excited about it and it’s creating a great buzz in the city,” he said.

“It’s going to be a huge boost for Canterbury, not just with the carnival atmosphere but for the economy.

Danny Beard
Danny Beard

“I’m told hotels are sold out and there’s bound to be a spin-off for shops and restaurants.

“It’s likely the postponement of London Pride will bring more visitors to Canterbury and we reckon it will be the biggest event of its kind in the country this weekend.

“We have to thank our main sponsors, Mark Quinn Estates, without which the festival could not happen.”

Headlining the festival are former boy band chart-toppers 5ive.

Organisers have also booked some leading drag acts, including Cheryl Hole from RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, Baga Chipz and Danny Beard.

Canterbury Pride packed the Dane John Gardens in 2019
Canterbury Pride packed the Dane John Gardens in 2019

Visitors will be able to browse some exciting new stalls and food outlets, and a new addition to this year’s festival is a family area with inflatables and face-painters.

Also new this year is a third stage with a children’s area in Whitefriars.

Glitterbomb will keep people dancing into the early hours at Tokyo Tea Rooms, with guest appearances by Cheryl Hole and the Gossip Gays.

Tickets are available by clicking here and to find out more about the event, click here.

And in September last year Ben Fitter-Harding became the first openly gay leader of Canterbury City Council.

Read about how he once feared his sexuality would prevent him from ever entering politics.

To find out what’s going on in the county and for all the latest entertainment news click here.

Read more: All the latest news from Canterbury

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