Galway Community Pride Festival Kicking off this Week

This week, Galway Community Pride will kick off in full force. Jessica Thompson reports…

Even the mayor is getting in on the fun. Photo by John McDonnell

Even the mayor is getting in on the fun. Photo by John McDonnell

The Galway Pride 2013 festival will take place next this week, marking the 24th year of Galway Community Pride.

The annual Galway festival celebrates the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Galway City and County.

“This year’s festival marks the 24th year of Galway Community Pride, the first being held back in 1989, making it the longest continuously running Pride Festival in Ireland,” said Marcus Ó’Gaoithín, Chairperson of Galway Community Pride 2013.

“We’ve received great feedback from other prides and great support from local community groups. It has extended well outside the LGBT community to include Galway as a whole,” he said.

In 1989, the local LGBT community got together to discuss the homophobic behaviour in Galway and acknowledged that visibility was important for both the heterosexual and LGBT communities in Galway.

Galway’s very first Gay Pride Parade was held in Eyre Square at midday on a sunny Saturday. The parade proceeded down shop street and was led by Natalie Zebolt and organised by Nuala Ward and Padraic Breathneach.

There were fifteen people in total at that first Gay Pride Parade – three lesbians, two gay tourists and ten straight friends.

Since then the LGBT community has grown, with more and more people taking part in the very successful Galway Pride festival each year.

“Things have really developed and grown, and people’s acceptance of the gay community has grown. People are a lot more tolerant,” Mr Ó’Gaoithín explained.

This year’s Gay Pride Parade will be held on Saturday 24 August at 2.30 pm and will start in Eyre Square.

Various events will take place over the next week including an official Pride launch in G Bar, a Pride Art Exhibition, a singer/songwriter night, a Rocky Horror Show sing-along at G Bar and Mr Gay Galway to name but a few.

There will also be plenty of live music music, dancing in the streets, a fireworks display and a pride cruise. All events are free of charge according to Mr Ó’Gaoithín who said “we rely on the generosity of patrons.”

More information on the weekend’s events can be found at www.galwaypride.com.

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