Town to host first Pride day

Cel­e­bra­tion to bring crowds in

Llanelli Star - - FRONT PAGE - Bethan Thomas @BethanT210­20179 [email protected]­ 0179254558­1

FIFTY years af­ter the Stonewall ri­ots and the birth of the Pride move­ment, cities and towns around Wales have been hang­ing up their rain­bow flags and host­ing big­ger Pride events than ever be­fore as they cel­e­brate Wales’ proud LGBTQ+ com­mu­ni­ties.

And now Llanelli is join­ing in the cel­e­bra­tions as the town hosts its first ever Pride event this week­end.

The town will be fol­low­ing in Swansea’s foot­steps – which this year hosted its big­gest Pride event yet – and now all eyes will be on Llanelli as rain­bow flags de­scend upon the town in a day hon­our­ing equal­ity and di­ver­sity.

The free event will take place on Satur­day from 11am out­side Theatr Ffwrnes in Park Street.

From there, all are wel­come to join in with the colour­ful pa­rade of lo­cal vol­un­teers, com­mu­nity groups and busi­nesses who will march one-anda-half miles up the road to the Sel­wyn Sa­muel Cen­tre and Gar­dens where the main fes­ti­val will take place from noon to 7pm.

The day will in­clude a plethora of live bands, stage acts, drag queens, arts and crafts stalls, food and drinks and even holis­tic and psy­chic ther­a­pies.

Or­gan­is­ers will also be pi­o­neer­ing a sen­sory room in which any­one will be able to with­draw from the bus­tle of the main event and re­lax in a quiet and peace­ful en­vi­ron­ment. The event came out of the ashes of Llanelli’s pre­vi­ous LGBT day or­gan­ised by CETMA.

Or­gan­is­ers Paul Fran­cis and Tracy Ked­die recog­nised the need for a big­ger event ded­i­cated to cel­e­brate Llanelli’s LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity and all di­ver­sity in the town.

Ms Ked­die says: “The com­mit­tee is made up of vol­un­teers from the com­mu­nity and we have all been work­ing so hard to or­gan­ise the event. To be­gin with, we had zero fund­ing so what we have man­aged to do is quite amaz­ing.

“Llanelli has a huge LGBTQ+ com­mu­nity and it is a day to come to­gether and cel­e­brate that com­mu­nity but also it is about all equal­ity and di­ver­sity.

“No mat­ter your gen­der, sex, age, race, or dis­abil­i­ties – it makes no odds to us, we are try­ing to push for the whole com­mu­nity to get in­volved and have catered for all ages and all sexes.

“It was just an idea to be­gin but the day will just be a colour­ful explosion of com­mu­nity.”

Over­all Llanelli Pride will be a free event with many ac­tiv­i­ties through­out the day but charges will ap­ply for some work­shops, food and drinks.

Park­ing through­out the town cen­tre will be free on Satur­day and sites in­clude the Sel­wyn Sa­muel Cen­tre, East­gate, Asda, Vaux­hall Road multi-storey and Core­shill car parks.

Plans for next year’s event are al­ready in mo­tion. Ms Ked­die, 38, said: “We al­ready have some mas­sive plans for next year as well we are hop­ing that we can make the event a lot more mul­ti­cul­tural in 2020.”

Llanelli Pride com­mit­tee in­clud­ing chair Paul Fran­cis (first row, cen­tre) and vice-chair Tracy Ked­die (first row, cen­tre right).

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