Rainbow of pride to light up Sunderland streets

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SUNDERLAND’S streets will welcome a rainbow of colour this weekend.

The annual Sunderland Pride parade will see hundreds of party-goers livening up city centre streets in a celebration of our lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans-gender community.

Everyone is welcome to join the parade which will set off from the Civic Centre at 2pm, before weaving its way through town. Parade-goers will then gather at Park Lane from 3pm to watch a host of free live entertainment.

Sunderland Pride is now in its third year and is fast becoming a highlight of the calendar.

Ryan Houston, vice-chairman of the Sunderland Pride committee, said: “It gets bigger and bigger each year. In our first event we had around 2,5000 people attending, and last year we had 3,500. If we could get 4,500 attending this year that would be fantastic.

“Anyone is welcome to come along and join in. It’s a great event and there’s always a good atmosphere with people dressing up and having fun.”

Anyone interested in taking part in the parade is asked to gather at the Civic Centre from 1.30pm and is welcome to wear colourful costumes.

Roads featured in the parade include Toward Road, Fawcett Street, St Mary’s Way and Green Terrace.

Northumbria Police will be attending the event and will be on hand to talk to people about any issues they may have.

Sunderland Chief Superintendent Kay Blyth said: “We’re pleased to once again be attending this event and looking forward to speaking to members of the LGBT communities, hearing their ideas and concerns.

“We’ll continue to build on the already good relations with our communities and help further improve confidence across the force area.

“We’ll be flying our flag at Sunderland Pride this weekend providing a visible police presence and if anyone wants to speak to police about any LGBT issues they can come and speak to our officers – we’re here to listen.”

Northumbria Police and crime commissioner, Vera Baird, said: “Having a positive relationship with our local communities is a cornerstone of policing and this event is a good opportunity for officers to talk to people.”