Pride brings rainbow of colour to grey, wet Lerwick 

Hundreds turned out to show their support for LGBTQ+ folk – braving the rain to flood the streets of Lerwick with colour.

The Shetland Pride 2023 parade got set off from Market Cross at 11am today (Saturday) with people of all ages taking part – and yet more lining the streets to cheer them on.

Marching to the sound of the Bigton Samba Band, the procession made its way through the town towards Gilbertson Park, which has been transformed into a Pride Village for the day.

The village features food, drink, craft sales and merchandise as well as a massive marquee featuring DJs.

Pride volunteer James Paton was helping organise the crowds ahead of the procession’s start and said he was “proud to be in Pride”.

“It’s also very emotional,” he added.

“Last year happened to be the same day as the own I’d lived in for 10 years, Skipton, had their first Pride, so it was doubly so last year.

“The crowds are building, maybe not quite as many as last year, but I see the streets are lined and it’s just a fantastic turn out and it’s a great day celebrating difference.”

Richard Holligan from event sponsors SSE, said it was a “great feeling”.

“We sponsored Shetland Pride last year, so we are overjoyed to do it again.” he said.

“It’s a message to our employees that that they can bring their authentic selves to work.

“But also to the community and the people of Shetland that we are supportive of all people regardless of what community they’re in and what sexuality or what group they identify with.

The evening party, which is a ticketed event, will be held at Islesburgh Community Centre , with multiple stages, bands, DJs and drag acts.

Drag acts led the parade again this year. 
Drag acts led the parade again this year. 

Earlier today, the Pride Committee said on Facebook a a “special thank you” to everyone who has helped out – adding that they were “so excited for the day ahead”.

The event is only the second official Pride event in Shetland’s history, with an estimated 2,300 people attending last year’s inaugural event.


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