Kent LGBT pride parade ditches vehicle floats to be more climate friendly

The organisers are also calling on participants to only use biodegradable glitter and not to release balloons.

Margate Pride
Margate Pride

A Kent LGBT pride event says it is ditching traditional vehicle floats to ensure the event is as climate-friendly as possible.

Margate Pride is being held for the seventh year on August 13 and its parade through the seaside town will return after two years of more low-key celebrations due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This year, the Margate Pride parade will begin from the Oval Bandstand and Lawns in Cliftonville and march to the town’s main sands – but there will be no vehicles included in the parade.

Amy Redmond, one of the organisers behind Margate Pride, explained: “As part of our environmental commitment, we are organising a no-float parade. This does not apply to those with mobility issues of course.

“Vehicles are not needed to show our commitment to LGBTQIA+ rights and share the love.

Past Margate Pride parade events in Thanet, Kent.
Margate Pride is in its seventh year (PA)

“We also want to connect more to Pride’s roots as a protest march. While there are still inequalities in the world for LGBTQIA+ people, this is an opportunity to show solidarity.

“From small beginnings, Margate Pride is blossoming into a nationally known, must-attend, fabulous, queer, grassroots pride, building an international reputation as the welcoming, alternative pride to be at.

“Now in its seventh year, Margate Pride has doubled in size each year, presenting an authentic, arts and culture-based festival for the whole community to get involved in.

“(This year’s) pride will see a two-week-long, queer, arts festival, culminating in the joyful pride procession where everyone is welcome to celebrate all of Thanet’s queerness and LGBTQIA+ life.

“Set in the camp seaside town of Margate, the festival is known as an authentic, grassroots celebration, drawing together diverse elements of the community, with everyone from the local RNLI and other emergency services to local artists, community groups and activists joining together to support the cause.

“Free to attend and open to all, Margate Pride is the festival with heart.”

Margate Pride also expects participants including any businesses or groups holding stalls “to align with its environmental and sustainability policy to reduce, reuse, and recycle”.

That includes measures such as only using biodegradable glitter, no smoke, paint or glitter bombs, no stickers or single use handouts, no releasing of balloons, and the use of compostable crockery and cutlery.

While the Margate Pride event culminates with the parade, events at Margate’s gay bar Sundowners and a performance from pop group Sugababes at the Dreamland amusement park, there will be a two-week programme of events held from August 5 to 20.

The programme includes an LGBT exhibit at Turner Contemporary art gallery, a photographic exhibition shown in multiple High Street shop windows, a night of queer cinema at the town’s Tom Thumb Theatre, a quiz at Cliftonville Community Hall with a round judged by BBC2 ceramics designer Keith Brymer Jones.

For more information visit the Margate Pride website.

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