CARINA CHEN

This Saturday will see Cambridge host its first ever official Pride festival, which will include the UK’s first pride parade on water.

The festival, which is free to attend, comes two years after it was initially announced. Entirely volunteer run, events have been sponsored by organisations including Samsung, The Kite Trust, and Glamazon – Amazon’s LGBTQ+ network.

The festival includes a Cambridge Pride River Parade, in which eight punts which will travel along the River Cam with representatives from Cambridge LGBT+ community groups and their allies on board. Among these include a group of students, as well as LGBT+ organisations The Kite Trust, Dhiverse, and Diamonds.

The river parade is funded by Cambridge City Council and each punt will be decorated using a colour of the rainbow flag, to represent the diverse elements of Cambridgeshire’s LGBT+ community.

A main stage on Jesus Green will see performances by dance groups, musicians, and drag artists, with outdoor screenings of international LGBT+ short films taking place in the evening. There will also be creative workshops and wellbeing sessions, food and drink stalls, and sports sessions.

On social media, Cambridge Pride commented that it "feels like Cambridge has been waiting a long time for a pride event", adding they were "determined that it lives up to expectations". 

Pride festivals are a celebration of the LGBT+ community, its achievements and activism. Most Pride events take place annually in June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots - an important moment in modern LGBT+ rights activism.

Liam Plimmer, President of the CUSU LGBT+ campaign, said that the event was of “great importance".


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“It's a great statement of acceptance to the city's LGBT+ community, offering an important coming together of both University groups and residents of the city". 

Noting that this year is “also significantly the 50th anniversary of Stonewall”, he added “it's important to remember that the first Pride was a riot; that we have a right to demand liberation in the face of oppression; and that that is what Pride is about”.

CUSU LGBT+ and the Graduate Union are among the stalls in the community tent at the festival.

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