Sunderland Pride Festival sees rainbows flying

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - big hair wigs were definately one of the trends.
Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - big hair wigs were definately one of the trends.
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SUNDERLAND was splashed in a rainbow of colour as the annual Pride festival took over the city centre.

Following the success of last year’s inaugural event, Sunderland was once again visited by those keen to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - some of those taking part were treated to a 'Pride Breakfast' at Sunderland Fire Station.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - some of those taking part were treated to a 'Pride Breakfast' at Sunderland Fire Station.

Colourful floats and fancy dress wearers set off from the Civic Centre at about midday yesterday as they started their parade of the city.

It was then on to Park Lane where acts such as Totally Gaga, Conor Hedley and Envy took to the stage for an afternoon of entertainment for the hundreds of visitors.

Pride Radio and Sunderland community station Spark FM jointly broadcasted the event live to listeners.

Roweena Russell, of Pride Radio, said: “It’s been fantastic. A really, really good day.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - dressed in black.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - dressed in black.

“There has been loads of engagement and a big diversity of people turning up, which is great.

“It’s been a great response by the public today as we walked through the city centre on the parade.

“There have also been some great acts on the stage.”

Roweena added that it was good to see the Pride event growing on Wearside year-on-year.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - some strange creatures spotted amongst the crowds.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - some strange creatures spotted amongst the crowds.

“It’s much bigger this year as you can see,” she said.

“We’ve had more people than before and that’s what has made it a really good day.”

Visitors to Park Lane enjoyed the colourful event.

Himal De Siva, of Ryhope, said it was good to see the city hosting it again.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - a touch of the exotic.

Sunderland Pride 2012 Festival in Park Lane Sunderland - a touch of the exotic.

The 22-year-old, who studies at Shiney Row College, said: “The people all being here and the concert has made it great.

“It’s good to see students and other people coming out to take part today.

“I think it’s great for the city as well.”

Some of those taking part in the parade enjoyed a special breakfast at Sunderland East fire station, in Railway Row, Millfield, before setting off.

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service said it wanted to demonstrate its commitment to equality and diversity by putting on the event ahead of the Pride festivities.

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