Town to host first Pride day
Celebration to bring crowds in
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).