Shropshire Star

Watch: Rainbows and smiles galore as Bridgnorth celebrates its first ever Pride festival

Rainbow flags were waving and drag queens were high kicking as revellers enjoyed the first ever Bridgnorth Pride.

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Hundreds joined a parade around the castle in High Town and finishing on the High Street to celebrate and show solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.

There was a competition for the best dressed, as well as a screening of Mamma Mia at the Reel Cinema planned for later on as well as an after party at the Bridgnorth Club.

Organiser Huw Rees said he felt a sense of relief and overwhelmed on an emotional day.

Bridgnorth folk turned out in their droves for the town's first Pride march
The Bridgnorth Pride march

"It started off chucking it down this morning. I nearly cried. But it cleared up and was sunny and warm.

"The police estimated that there were about 350 people. Personally, I was expecting about 50, so that was way beyond my expectations.

"There were a lot of people in drag, walking around Bridgnorth wearing whatever the hell they wanted."

Ruby, Sam and Tracy Welch
Roger Jerrison with 'Babygirl' and Donna Downes

He added: "I've been organising it since September. Its only me, but I've had volunteers stewarding for me and they really helped things go smoothly.

"I feel relief but also I feel grateful to Bridgnorth for turning up and just being there. It is something that the town has never had before.

The Bridgnorth Pride march went along Castle Walk
Kerry Rowsell

"They took it in their stride. There were so many different people - families, older people.

"I've been in Bridgnorth all my life so for me it was quite emotional and overwhelming.

"Overall, it has been a big success."

Malcolm Fawcett, Sally and Les Lee and David Allen
Carly, Geri and Becky Bennett

Asked whether Bridgnorth Pride would be back in 2025, he said: "Everyone has been coming up to me saying 'bigger next year'. We will definitely be back next year."

Huw also wanted to say a special thank you to Bridgnorth Town Council for flying the Pride flag, and to local businesses for decorating their windows with rainbow.

The Bridgnorth Pride march
Teddy the dog shows his colours
Hundreds joined in with the Bridgnorth Pride parade
Mandy Leek, Stephen Dunn-Brown and Sian Thomas