Glorious weather makes for successful post-lockdown Pride event

After two years of virtual events due to COVID, Tameside Pride returned to Cheethams Park today. Running from 12 midday till 5pm, it was a joyous afternoon with fairground rides, stalls and live music. There was also an appearance from Greater Manchester Police’s Police Community Support Officers.

Topping the bill was Nicki French, known for her cover version of Total Eclipse of the Heart. In 2000, she represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest with Don’t Play That Song Again. Each act was introduced by Mike Llewellyn, a local mastermind on all things of a Coronation Street nature, supported by Daniel Westwood. First to perform on stage at Cheethams Park was Miss Gina DeCarle.

By 12.40 pm, Tameside Pride 2022 was officially opened by the Mayor of Tameside Mike Glover and mayoress Anne Gordon. Also present at the opening was the leader of Tameside MBC Councillor Ged Cooney, and Dr. Carl Austin Behan – Andy Burnham’s LGBT Advisor.

In the run-up to its opening, Dr. Behan’s opening speech referenced the 50th anniversary of LGBT Pride. Also subsequent developments like same sex marriages and lowering the age of homosexual consent to 16, in line with heterosexual consent. And the infamous Section 28 Act.

After there being no physical event for three years, the turnout was encouraging thanks to pleasant weather. For years we may have underestimated the power of our borough’s LGBTQ community though we do have a long way to go. In recent times, this has been addressed by user-led groups like Aries UK on Market Avenue, Ashton-under-Lyne.

As well as Aries UK, this year’s event was backed by Tameside Taxis – the oldest and best known part of the Nexus Move empire. Other acts on stage were The Three Amigos and Georgia.

Tameside Pride 2022 pictures

How could we not forget the pictures? Here’s to next year’s event!

Tameside Pride taking shape.
Five minutes before the start.
Miss Gina De Carle, prior to the official opening of Tameside Pride.
Carl Austin Behan seen with presenter Mike Llewellyn.
The official opening of Tameside Pride 2022.
Crowds outside one of the stalls.
For some revellers, the most important stall of all. (Yes, this is StalyVegas of course).
One of the merchandise stalls.
Revellers taking in the sunshine.
Sunshine and happy days: the party gathering pace.

S.V., 16 July 2022.

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