THE annual York Gay Pride event taking place next month will be the biggest and most colourful yet, say organisers.

Taking place in Rowntree Park on July 30, the event will be dedicated to the memory of former University of York student David Kato, who was murdered in his own home when he returned to his native Uganda after being outed as a homosexual in newspapers there. His death came after he won a legal battle against a newspaper.

The murder of the gay rights activist in January this year was condemned around the world. US president Barack Obama also paid tribute to Mr Kato, describing him as “a powerful advocate for fairness and freedom” and saying he showed tremendous courage in speaking out against hate.

Dan Sidley, chairman of York Pride 2011, said: “We are determined to use Pride 2011 and the tragic murder of David Kato to spread the message that there is still much to be done to eradicate hate and violence against the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community.”

A mass release of rainbow-coloured balloons by the MP for York Central, Hugh Bayley, is planned for the day in memory of Mr Kato and to celebrate the Pride event. Music will be provided by the 60-strong (LGBT) choir Gay Abandon.

York Pride is now in its fifth year and follows the success of the 2010 gathering which saw hundreds of people meet in the park to enjoy a day of live music and entertainment.

This year the day, which runs from 1pm to 6pm, will feature music and cabaret from Bears Aloud and the Dame Shirley Bassey Experience. There will also be stalls, food and an adult bouncy castle.

For details on the event and how to buy a £5 entry wristband, email