Thousands hit the streets for Sunderland Pride 2015

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Thousands of people turned out as Sunderland’s Pride festival made a welcome return to the city.

In gloriously sunny weather, a huge parade set off from the Civic Centre and made its way around the city before heading to Park Lane.

Sunderland Pride 2015.

Sunderland Pride 2015.

There, on the festival’s main stage, music and dance acts including Katrina Leskanich from Eurovision Song Contest winners Katrina and the Waves, Kelly Wilde and tribute band Girl Aloud performed for the watching crowds.

People of all ages, faiths and colours attended the event, which has grown year-on-year.

Helmut Izaks, 62, of Millfield, has been to all Pride events since it started in Sunderland.

“It’s been a great pride event yet again,” he said.

We think there are about 5,000 people who’ve come down which is the biggest number ever.

Chris Ramsay of Sunderland Pride

“One of the things I like most is the brunch that we have at the fire station.

“The day brings more and more people together.

“It’s all about getting the word out that everyone is equal.”

Vice chairman of Sunderland Pride, Chris Ramsay told the Echo that 2015’s event had been the biggest in its five-year history.

“It’s been massive,” said Chris. “We think there are about 5,000 people who’ve come down which is the biggest number ever.

“There were 1,000 alone on the parade.

“It will only get bigger as the years go on.

“Everyone has come together to be proud and that’s why we put this event on for.”