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'Lots of happy faces! Sunshine and smiles greet return of Walsall Pride celebrations

There was a sea of colour and smiles at the long-awaited return of Walsall Pride held at the borough's biggest park for the first time in the event's history.

Councillor Kerry Murphy, Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Martin with Sylvia Styzaker
Councillor Kerry Murphy, Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Martin with Sylvia Styzaker

This year's show was held in Walsall Arboretum on Saturday after previously being held in the town centre.

Performers included Champagne Shirley, Tanya Hyde, Twiggy, Linda Matthews, Nottie Mayher from Gaydio Radio, Joe Hunt, Becki De Funk along with Nate Ethan, Phil J, Larry Han, Wayne H, Jay Devour and James Ball.

Zoe Clews, 36, of Whateley Avenue, Coalpool, attended the event with her nieces Krystal(cor) and Kiera, both aged seven, and Stevie Keen, aged four, and neighbour Tracey Constable, 58. Zoe said: "It's a great day out. We're here to soak up the atmosphere. everyone is so friendly and the kids love it.

Twins Keira and Krystal Keen, aged seven, with their sister Stevie, aged four

Mayor of Walsall Councillor Rose Martin was among those attending and she said: "It's absolutely fantastic, well run and well supported. There are lots of happy smiling faces enjoying the sunshine and Walsall Pride.

"It's bringing communities together and helps people to learn to respect each other's orientation and beliefs."

She was also there to support this year's mayoral charities health initiative Wellwishers, Community Networking and first responder service Black Country-Walsall Fastaid.

Pelsall's Councillor Garry Perry also an associate director for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust was helping out at the NHS stand. Councillor Perry said: "It's good that Walsall Pride is back after the Covid crisis.

"It in a new location after previously being held in Gallery Square which has gone down well with the public. The weather is great and the people are embracing everything about pride. It's about tolerance and respect.

"The event is organised by a small committee who have done very well. It feels like a festival atmosphere."

Councillor Garry Perry with Andy Rice, Amy Elwell and Chloe Danks, at the Walsall Patient Experience stand

Jenny Estacado, 26, of Gurney Road, Beechdale, was among those to dress to impress. She said: "I had my hair dyed green for another event, but it turned out to be good timing for today. I had the glitter art done when I got here."

Matthew Morris-Higgins, of the organising committee, said: "Walsall Pride continues to grow every year and it has always been our aim to move to the Arboretum Extension and now in its 10th year, we felt it was the right time to make the event even bigger."

"It creates a space for the town to come together and celebrate diversity."

In addition to performances the show featured a dance arena, children’s inflatables, food vendors, bars advice stands and the emergency services.

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