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Where are Pride events happening in Kent this summer? Everything you need to know

By Rebecca Tuffin

Get on your loudest jumpsuit and shower yourself with glitter - it's time to raise the rainbow flag for Pride.

The annual, worldwide event celebrates diversity of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, but everyone is invited to join the party.

From Gok Wan leading a 'drag showdown' to performances from X Factor finalists, the county's biggest Pride festivals taking place this summer are listed below.

Margate Pride parade last year
Margate Pride parade last year

Canterbury Pride

Saturday, June 15

A man wearing the rainbow flag makes his way through Canterbury at Pride this year
A man wearing the rainbow flag makes his way through Canterbury at Pride this year

More than 20,000 gathered in the heart of the city for Canterbury Pride this year, kicking off with a carnival procession through the heart of the city from 11.30am.

Revellers danced down the High Street, armed with banners, flags and vibrant costumes.

Gok Wan and Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud were among those who joined celebrations moved to Dane John Gardens in the early afternoon.

Partying continued late into the night at Kent's most popular LGBT event, Glitterbomb, held at Tokyo Team Rooms.

Gok Wan will lead a 'drag showdown' at Canterbury Pride
Gok Wan will lead a 'drag showdown' at Canterbury Pride

Faversham Pride

Saturday, June 29

Magician Guy Wade entertains Ali Cassidy and Megan Coulson with a card trick at the Faversham Pride last year.
Magician Guy Wade entertains Ali Cassidy and Megan Coulson with a card trick at the Faversham Pride last year.

Faversham celebrations began with a family garden party, including a BBQ, games and music.

Hosted by West Faversham Community Association (WFCA), it was held in their Bysingwood Road garden from noon.

All activities, including arts and crafts and face glitter, were completely free thanks to grants awarded to the organisers.

As the evening drew in, kids headed to bed as the over 18s party began at 6pm.

Held in the WFCA main hall on the same site, a rodeo bull and drag queens got the night off to a brilliant start.

Folkestone Pride

Saturday, July 20

Folkestone Pride procession 2018
Folkestone Pride procession 2018

There's lots planned for this year's Folkestone Pride, including drag artists, theatre shows and a ceremonial smashing of a 'patriarchy piñata'.

Daytime activities will be held at Leas Cliff Hall, such as entertainment from local performers Miss Dolly Poppers, Miss Di Vour, and DJ Fat Joy Slim and street dancers.

Eleto Chocolate Cafe will host the official seaside-themed after party, starting at 8pm, with a mix of DJ sets and live acts.

Pink Flamingo disco will be held at Space Bar, and a poignant play about homosexual struggles, Tom Marshman: A Haunted Existence will show at Quarterhouse at 7pm.

Folkestone Pride procession last year
Folkestone Pride procession last year

In the lead up to Pride, a number of fundraisers are being held including Backyard Auction at Space Bar on Saturday, June 15, and Dance with Pride at The Southcliff Hotel on Saturday, June 29.

An exhibition of local artists work at the Performance Space will be held on Thursday, July 18.

If you are a business owner in the town, the organisers are eager for you to get involved in the festivities.

Email team@folkestonepride.com if you are interested.

Margate Pride

Saturday, August 10

Margate Pride last year
Margate Pride last year

This will be Margate's fourth year officially celebrating Pride, and the event has grown massively each time round.

Anticipating more than 3,000 people, celebrations will begin at 2pm with a parade from Cliftonville near Walpole Bay Hotel to the main sand beach.

You must register beforehand to take part in the procession at Walpole Bay lawn at at 12.30pm.

Margate Pride last year
Margate Pride last year

An afternoon street party will run from noon to 6pm, with main stage entertainment from 3pm.

Mel C will headline the Saturday evening show at Dreamland at the end of a week-long festival which will welcome a host of LGBT campaigners.

Drag dance troupe, Sink the Pink will also be performing.

Tickets for the event, which will run from 7pm to 10.30pm, start at £11 including rides and can be bought online here.

Margate Pride last year. Picture: Tony Flashman
Margate Pride last year. Picture: Tony Flashman

This year's theme is 'beside the seaside', so hopefully there'll be lots of sailors and mermaids in the crowd.

Cockles and Muscles: Celebs in Swimwear is this year's Pride after party.

Held at Lido Cliff Bar, the disco bangers will be blasting from 9pm to 3am, with tickets starting at £7.

A quiz night at Cliftonville Community Centre on July 18 has been organised to raise more funds for the well-anticipated event.

Swangsong, a mixed-media show exploring attitudes to masculinity, will show at the Tom Thumb Theatre as part of Margate Pride fringe festival on August 7 and 8.

Anyone wanting to run a float or take part in the parade can contact organisers at info@margatepride.org.uk

Tunbridge Wells Pride

Saturday, August 17

Tunbridge Wells Forum
Tunbridge Wells Forum

The town's third Pride is set to be a good one, with the official after party, Pride Late, being held at leading small music venue, Tunbridge Wells Forum.

X Factor finalist, Bella Penfold will be performing alongside a number of others.

Location for the daytime parade is yet to be confirmed, but there will be plenty of stalls, food and DJs throwing out tunes from 11.30am.

A variety of tasty dishes for both meat-eaters and vegans will be on offer, and The Glamrockz Effect will cater for all your glittery needs.

Tickets for Pride Late are available on the Forum website, starting at £15, with all proceeds going towards next year's Pride and LGBT charity, Albert Kennedy Trust.

To help raise money for Tunbridge Wells Pride click here.

Dover Pride

Dover will have its first ever Pride this summer.

A march, rally and celebration of the town's LGBTQ+ community will be held on Saturday, August 31.

The event will start at 11am with a march from Market Square, with entertainment starting at midday in the Town Hall.

Mademoiselle Indigo and Poppy Love will perform at Dover Pride
Mademoiselle Indigo and Poppy Love will perform at Dover Pride

Deal drag queen Gwen Ever has curated the line-up, which includes stars of Channel 4’s DragSOS, 15-year-old singer-songwriter Jake St Ange and a Kylie tribute.

And former Dover Grammar school pupil, Tobias Cordes will return to the town to perform.

Biggin Hall will become a Dover Pride Café offering a more quiet space and family entertainment.

Dover Pride comes to an end at 9.30pm.

Participants need to register to join the parade.

Medway Pride

Medway's first Pride festival has been cancelled due to lack of funding.

Just £210 was raised of a target of £21,333.

A parade through Rochester, live performances and collaborations with local businesses were all plans which sadly, are no longer going ahead.

Gravesham Pride

On the bright side, it is hoped the first ever Gravesham Pride is will go ahead in June next year, since the LGBT community received full support of the council for the festival.

One of the organisers said: "I can’t describe how I feel as I am overwhelmed by the fact the event is actually happening.

“I have had a few knock backs from members of the public, saying that it’s never going to happen and it’s not going to work, but I didn’t let that stop me from carrying on."

Gravesham Pride secretary, Jon Glen and chairman, Helanna Chapman-Shelley
Gravesham Pride secretary, Jon Glen and chairman, Helanna Chapman-Shelley

Swale Pride

Sunday, August 25

To make Swale Pride happen, the committee needs more support from volunteers to help with a parade, stalls, advertising and more.

The free main event will be held at Faversham Town Football Club in Salters Lane and will be headlined by another X Factor finalist, Sam Callahan.

If you want to get involved, email info@swalepride.co.uk.

Sheppey Pride

This year's Sheppey Pride has been cancelled due to 'uncontrollable circumstances' but organisers hope to go ahead in summer 2020.

On the website, it says: "It is with great regret we have to announce the 2019 Sheppey Pride event has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.

"We are yet to announce the date for the 2020 event, which will be bigger and better than our plans for this year."

Anyone up for helping with fundraising events and increasing awareness of LGBT issues, please get in contact on sheppeypride@gmail.com.

For more ideas on days out and things to do, head to our What’s On section

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