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WATCH: Rainbow flags fill city centre for Wolves Pride 2019

By Harriet Evans | Wolverhampton | Wolverhampton entertainment | Published:

Equality and diversity were celebrated in style on Saturday as Wolverhampton Pride returned to the city.

Hundreds of people of all ages came dressed for the occasion, carrying rainbow flags and wearing colourful outfits for an afternoon celebrating LGBTQ.

The free event was held at St Peter's Car Park, off Wulfruna Street in the city centre, where a rainbow arch marked the entrance and exit and the inside was covered in bright colours and rainbow flags.

WATCH Pride celebrations in Wolverhampton:

UK's first transgender rapper performs at Wolverhampton Pride

Last year's Pride celebration was cancelled at short notice which meant organisers were determined to make this year's celebration bigger and better than ever, with host Dicky Dodd keeping guests partying from 3pm until 11pm.

After Wolverhampton Brass Band opened the celebrations, local singer Amy G got the crowd on their feet signing and dancing to iconic tracks by Dianna Ross and Rihanna.

Nate Ethan - also from Wolverhampton and believed to be the country's first transgender rapper - was up next followed by an Ariana Grande tribute act from Jolie Uppal and a DJ set from BBC Radio 2's Richie Anderson.

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Tribute acts to Lady Gaga and Elton John were the evening headliners before DJ Madame Twisted brought the event to a close.

The music was performed inside a marquee decorated with pride flags and banners, where there was also a rainbow backdrop for photos featuring the #WolvesPride hashtag.

Guests also enjoyed street food stalls and a selection of bars including gin, prosecco and cocktail specialists.

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Organisers said they were expecting thousands of people to turn up but were unable to give a final attendance figure.

Among the guests was Anwen Muston, the Labour Party's first openly transgender councillor who represents the city's East Park ward on Wolverhampton Council.

She said: "It's so important to hold Pride so we manage to secure equality for all especially with what's going on globally.

"Today the staff have done very well in organising today the layout and entertainment is superb and I hope more people will come and support Pride each year."

The festival was organised and funded by Wolverhampton Council on behalf of the Wolverhampton LGBT+ Alliance, while money was also provided by the University of Wolverhampton.

And representatives from Wolverhampton Labour, X2Y LGBTQ+ youth support service, local charity P3 and health services were on hand to give support and advice to attendees.

Crissie Rushton, one of the event managers, said: "We've had six weeks to pull this together, we wanted to make sure Wolverhampton had a Pride event this year.

"The thing that's a credit to the city is there's so many people here and such a wide age range.

"I feel like the whole city has pulled together and it's amazing to see how well it's gone."

Ian Brookfield, leader of Wolverhampton Council, added: “I am delighted that the council has been able to once again support Wolves LGBT+ Pride this year which celebrates the diversity of our city.

“This is a free afternoon and evening where everyone is welcome to come together in a party atmosphere to show our solidarity with the LGBT+ community.”

Harriet Evans

By Harriet Evans
Community Reporter - @HarrietEvans_ES

Community Reporter at the Express & Star, covering the issues affecting young people across the Black Country and Staffordshire. Contact me at harriet.evans@expressandstar.co.uk

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