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Pride events in Kent summer 2019

With plenty of vibrant colours, glitter and music, the rainbow flag was raised once again for Pride this summer.

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

From Gok Wan leading a 'drag showdown' to performances from X Factor finalists, here is a round up of the county's biggest Pride festivals this year.

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
Folkestone Pride

Hundreds of people came together for the annual Pride celebrations in Folkestone yesterday.

Dressed in all the colours of the rainbow, a huge crowd kicked off the day with a parade along the Leas.

Those taking part made a fantastic effort for their outfits - with people donning everything from glitter, flower garlands, hats and balloons.

Folkestone Pride
Folkestone Pride

The parade came to a stop at the Leas Cliff Hall, where a rooftop party was held and included sing a longs and entertainment for all the family.

But strong winds down at the coast left some attendees clinging onto their hats.

In other parts of town there was free live music, theatre experiences and film screenings throughout the day.

After parties were held at Space Bar and Eleto, where Joe Goddard - one of the founding members of synth pop band Hot Chip, best known for singles Over and Over and Ready for the Floor, played a DJ set.

Margate Pride

Saturday, August 10

Record numbers turned out for the Margate Pride parade. Picture: Margate Pride
Record numbers turned out for the Margate Pride parade. Picture: Margate Pride

Margate's fourth year officially celebrating Pride was the biggest yet.

A week-long festival ended with a huge parade from Cliftonville near Walpole Bay Hotel to the main sand beach.

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

A sell out crowd partied the night away at the Melanie C concert. Picture: Dreamland Margate
A sell out crowd partied the night away at the Melanie C concert. Picture: Dreamland Margate

Mel C headlined the Saturday evening show at Dreamland.

Drag dance troupe, Sink the Pink also performing.

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

Events were hosted throughout the day. Picture: Dreamland Margate
Events were hosted throughout the day. Picture: Dreamland Margate

Cockles and Muscles: Celebs in Swimwear was the after party.

Held at Lido Cliff Bar, the disco bangers were blasted until 3am.

Swangsong, a mixed-media show exploring attitudes to masculinity, was shown at the Tom Thumb Theatre as part of Margate Pride fringe festival.

Tunbridge Wells Pride

Saturday, August 17

Harvey the chocolate lab with his pride garland in Tunbridge Wells
Harvey the chocolate lab with his pride garland in Tunbridge Wells

There was plenty to be proud of as Pride arrived in Tunbridge Wells.

For the third time since 2017 members of the LGBT community and allies have taken to the streets and the Calverley Grounds to celebrate who they are.

Organiser Tyler Halliday said this year's Tunbridge Wells Pride was the biggest yet, even featuring a star from hit reality TV competition Ru Paul's Drag Race.

Tunbridge Wells Pride
Tunbridge Wells Pride

Mr Halliday, from Margate, said: "This is the first year we've organised a road closure as part of the parade. We were worried there would be issues with cars but everything went really, really well.

"We're thinking around 1,500 people came out. On the Friday we hired the Assembly Hall for a cabaret show with Charlie Hides.

"Next year's going to be even bigger we're hoping to extend the Assembly Hall to get more seats and will be booking out roads again too."

Dover Pride

Dover celebrated its first ever Pride this summer.

A march, rally of the town's LGBTQ+ community was held on Saturday, August 31.

The event started 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 curated the line-up, which included 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 returned to the town to perform.

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

Swale Pride

Sunday, August 25

Looking colourful at Swale Pride
Looking colourful at Swale Pride

There were smiles and splashes of colour as hundreds of people braved the heat to take part in Swale Pride.

Both members of the local community and visitors arrived to take part in the parade through Faversham.

This is one of two events in the town, with Faversham Pride held in June.

It is thought that around 700 people went through the gates to enjoy the live music and entertainment at Faversham Football Club later that evening.

Around 70% of the acts who performed were from the LGBTQ+ community, and most were from Kent.

Hundreds of people took part in the Swale parade
Hundreds of people took part in the Swale 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

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

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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