What to expect as Scunthorpe hosts its first Pride event this weekend

Scunthorpe will host its first-ever Pride event this weekend with an array of colourful entertainment lined up.

Taking place at Church Square on Sunday from noon until 9pm, along with a host of after parties at various venues later on, it promises to be a historic day for the town.

Scunthorpe Pride will cater to all ages and feature all sorts from food stalls to live music, and even a group of senior belly-dancers.

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Ahead of the big event, project lead Abi Pullin said: “It started last year in August when a group of us just decided to set up a social at The Black Door in Scunthorpe. People have tried to do Prides before and they’ve never succeeded.”

The plans gathered pace as acts were lined up and an impressively long list of sponsors signed up. But it was in Spring when what had started as an idea in a neighbourhood bar really took a big step into becoming reality. “From probably March, April time and that’s when I was like, ‘oh, this is happening’,” said Abi.

A remarkably small core team of five, which started out as three, organised the event. Andy Train, involved with Hull Pride, is a friend of Abi’s and has helped with advice too.

It was at this time the event got licensing permission from North Lincolnshire Council to take place in Church Square. Abi said the council had been wholly supportive of the Pride event.

Abi Pullin, pictured, indicated a crowd of over 3,000 throughout the day is anticipated.
Abi Pullin, pictured, says a crowd of more than 3,000 throughout the day is anticipated

In March, the authority awarded Scunthorpe Pride £2,515 from the government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund, to help make it happen. So what can people expect on the day itself?

Firstly, it’s completely free to attend. There will be a main stage area, “which is absolutely ram packed full of local artists and singers”. Headlining are Khalysis, made up of “sisters and best friends” Olivia and Georgia. The duo have signed a deal with BMG records and already reached number four in the UK charts.

Almost P!nk, real name Kyla Porter, and one of the UK’s best tribute acts to pop-punk star Pink, will also perform. Meanwhile, proceedings will be presided over by drag queen Ida Slapter.

Between noon and 2pm, there will be children’s entertainment too and Abi teased a “colourful surprise going on around two o’clock, which will involve everybody”. Burlesque dancing group The Sugar Dolls will also perform, and there will be a belly dancing group made up entirely of over 70s.

Khalysis will headline Scunthorpe Pride.
Khalysis will headline Scunthorpe Pride

“We are literally ticking every box,” said Abi on the diversity of performers and shows. “We’ve got 50 market stalls with all sorts of traders, local produce, handmade gifts.” Charities, a police recruitment stall and the fire brigade will also feature. The food area will offer an array of options too.

There are a number of afterparties from 9pm for those wanting to continue the Pride celebrations. These include a VIP ticketed event at Black Door. Tickets can be bought from Scunthorpe Pride’s Facebook page, or Black Door. A few are also being given away for free on the day.

Other afterparties include Penny Bank with alternative disco, Retro Bar with 80s and 90s music, and Lord Bobs in Well Street will host an after show by host supreme Ida Slapter.

Scunthorpe Pride comes in the context of a number of police-recorded hate crimes against trans people around the country, and a reported homophobic attack on two men in a South London nightclub earlier this month. Speaking of the importance of Prides in the wider context, Abi said it was “massively essential”.

She emphasised, however, that Scunthorpe Pride’s focus is on bringing people together rather than campaigning aspects, saying: “What we’re focusing on is inclusivity. It doesn’t matter who you are. What we’re trying to do is get in the same spot and realise we’re just humans.”

Abi Pullin, organiser of Scunthorpe Pride: "What we're focusing on is inclusivity. It doesn't matter who you are."
Abi Pullin said the event will be ‘focusing on inclusivity. It doesn’t matter who you are’

Abi expects around 3,000 people to turn up on the day after initially thinking only around 300 people would attend. She said: “We’ve got a lot of support from local people and from other areas around Lincolnshire. We didn’t expect it to be so popular.”

Though the forecast is currently a bit mixed with some showers possible, Abi is hoping for good weather but whatever is in store is unlikely to dampen the spirits of those who will attend what should be a landmark day for LGBT+ residents in North Lincolnshire.

Find more information about Scunthorpe Pride on the event website.

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Original artice: https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/all-about/scunthorpe

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