MaccPride will be taking over Macclesfield and the Town Centre once again on Saturday 6th July 2019.
Over the years I’ve regularly supported the Manchester Pride Festival and have seen it’s huge growth attracting visitors from all over the world. I’m delighted to see my home town hosting its second event in 2019 representing the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual or Transgender) community across East Cheshire.
The first ever Pride Festival was held in London in 1972 attracting around 2000 participants. Nowadays, the event attracts up to a million people, with numerous Pride events happening throughout the year and across the UK. Macclesfield was host to its first event in 2018 and this year will see the first ever Pride parade in our town. Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being LGBT but the right to exist without persecution.
I spoke to Denise Hartley-Dickens the chair of the committee which has 12 members, all of whom work tirelessly organising the colourful occasion. As she says “One reason we work constantly is to promote equality in our local community. No one should ever be afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of someone they love. Come and support us”.
Following the success of last year’s event which shows that Macclesfield is a happy and inclusive place to live, MaccPride became a registered charity in February this year. The charity committee organises social and educational events all year around. MaccPride 2019 will take place in the Town Centre on Saturday, July 6th including live music, stalls, kids’ activities, a rainbow raffle and much more! Market Place will be renamed ‘Pride Square’ for the day.
The first-ever pride parade will set off from Christ Church at 12 noon and head to the Market Place, to signal the official start of the event! The whole Macclesfield community and beyond is invited to join – families, schools, churches, groups and businesses! The purpose of the march is to stand up for equality, inclusion, and the right to ‘be yourself’, so the dress code is up to you, with added rainbows!
The Main Event
The main stage and stalls will be up and running by late morning, and there will be plenty of choice of food and drink too. Hopefully, a good crowd will have gathered by the time the parade arrives and the stage programme kicks off! There are lots of great performances lined up, right through until 8 pm, to keep the party going!
Opening the show will be the ‘Chordiality Choir’, also performing all-time favourites will be ‘Lucy Cooper’ who went down a storm last year. Mother and daughter comedy vocal duo ‘Wishful Thinking’, last year’s karaoke challenge winner ‘Natalie Ashworth’ will be appearing and the musical duo ‘Abbie and George’ will be performing numbers from Disney and musicals! There is a George Michael tribute act, local rock band ‘Low Orbit’, ‘Silverback’, another local band and ‘Nashville Angels’ who performed at MaccPride last year.
MaccPride will continue into the night, with a range of ‘after party’ events, organised by various partner venues around the town. There’ll be something for everyone. There’s so much support here that choosing one venue would have proved impossible!
I spoke to Jane Birch co-owner of ‘Mash’ who explained “Mash will be supporting MaccPride by aligning it with our regular QQQ (Quirky and Queer Quarterly) event. A celebration of acceptance and diversity, where you are encouraged to wear who you are on the inside, outside. Priscilla Queen of the Desert will be showing on the big screen, the Compere is ‘White Nancy’, the DJ is ‘Jordan Wilson’ and the Staff will be dressing as Disney characters!”
‘The G & T bar’ will contribute £1 from each of their special ‘Pride Gin’s’ they sell towards charity fundraising.
‘Porters’ are having a ‘Pink Weekend’ with a fundraiser on Sunday afternoon and a bar on ‘Pride square’ all day Saturday! Look out for them on the corner next to Chestergate.
‘Swan with Two Necks’ will be serving colourful Pride drinks and the ‘Black Silk Rebels’ will be performing live.
‘The Plough’ have invited the well-known Pride performer ‘Sha G Gerada’ to entertain Pride goers of Macclesfield!
‘The Mulbery Bush’ have two live acts: Comedian ‘Gary Rowntree’ and Singer ‘Jamie Doughty’.
‘Harley’s Fire and Ice Bar’ will be providing cocktails and mocktails on their Pride-themed drinks menu! Look out for their converted horsebox on Pride Square!
Why not pop into ‘Wetherspoons’ to try their Rainbow spin the wheel game whilst deciding your After Eight route?
This wonderful community spirit is inspirational to witness and shows that Macclesfield is a wonderful, happy and inclusive place to live!
For more information about MaccPride you can visit their official website and follow them on Facebook to keep up to date with news and more updates leading up to the event as they’re released.
Blog by Tara.
Photo Credit – Abbie Drennan – ASD Photography