CELEBRATIONS of diversity and equality will be taking place throughout this weekend as part of Manchester Pride.
Tens of thousands of people will line the streets of Manchester on Saturday, August 26, to watch the parade of more than 3,000 people.
Greater Manchester’s emergency services will be taking part in the festivities, alongside Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham.
Andy said: “Manchester Pride is a world class celebration of our LGBT community. I am really looking forward to parading through our streets to show the world that we are a city united, a city that is welcoming of everyone in our society.
“We have faced some of our darkest nights but once again show how we stand together to celebrate our diversity and how we will never let the forces of hate divide us.”
Andy will also be speaking at the candlelight vigil on Monday night (August 28).
The vigil starts at 9.15pm in Sackville Gardens and remembers those lost to the HIV virus and gives chance to fight the stigma still associated with the virus.
Andy added: “The vigil will be a moving and thoughtful reflection of those we have lost and the challenges that still exist, but it will also show a united front from all of Manchester.”
Firefighters from Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service will be joining in the carnival alongside the pipe band, parade fire engine and children’s fire engine.
More than 100 community groups, organisations, charities and businesses will be taking part in the parade.
The money raised throughout the Big Weekend is granted to LGBT community groups, organisations, events and initiatives across Greater Manchester, with more than £1m raised since 2006.
Jean Stretton, GMCA lead for Equality, Fairness and Inclusion, said: “Pride is a fantastic celebration of what an inclusive place Greater Manchester is.
“Thank you to everyone taking part over the weekend. You are highlighting how friendly and welcoming our society is.”