Sun shines on Sunderland’s Pride Festival

Hundreds of people turned out in glorious sunshine to support Wearside’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans community at Sunderland Pride 2017.

A parade made its way from the civic centre to Park Lane for a day of fun events, including a headline slot by Sonique.

The Pride parade makes its way past Mowbray Park

The Pride parade makes its way past Mowbray Park

Atomic Kitten star Kerry Katona and Loose Women’s Katie Price were also due to perform at after party shows.

Chris Ramsay, chairman of the organisers, was overwhelmed by the numbers.

“It is the best turn-out that I have seen,” he said.

“When they came up Holmeside, I could not believe it.”

It is the best turn-out that I have seen. When they came up Holmeside, I could not believe it.

Chris Ramsay

And he paid tribute to the businesses such as Barclays, Sainsburys and Station Taxis who had supported the day.

“We almost cancelled it a couple of months ago, but when the word got out, all the businesses in Sunderland, and especially the Bid, rallied round and saved us, so I want to say thank you to them.”

Police, ambulance and fire services all took part.

Supt Sarah Pitt, of Sunderland police, said: “I think it is a really good turn-out from the community.

Ready for the off...

Ready for the off...

“It must be bigger than last year in terms of the people taking part.”

Mayor of Sunderland Coun Doris MacKnight opened the event.

“It is absolutely fabulous,” she said.

“It is very important to embrace diversity.”

Fun in Park Lane

Fun in Park Lane

Flying the flag for Pride 2017

Flying the flag for Pride 2017

The parade sets off

The parade sets off

Ready to depart

Ready to depart

Enjoying the parade

Enjoying the parade

Banging the drum for Pride

Banging the drum for Pride

On the march..

On the march..

Bollywood dancers taking part in the march

Bollywood dancers taking part in the march