PREPARATIONS are underway for York to celebrate Pride Month in June.

The month-long global festival will also see the return of York’s Pride Parade next Saturday, the first since 2019, due to the pandemic.

City of York Council is celebrating this month too, with the city walls this month being illuminated in the rainbow colours of Pride to represent diversity in the city and the rainbow flag will proudly be on display at the Mansion House. Its staff are also taking part in events.

The parade leaves Duncombe Place outside the Minster around 11.45am on June 18, going through the city and down ‘Bishy Road’ to Knavesmire by 1pm for a ‘fantastic celebration’ on the Knavesmire, which is free and ‘family-friendly.’

Among the performers at York Pride will be DJ Rory Hoy; singers Samantha and Donna, aka Live Revival; Marigold Addams, performing as Cher; X-Factor singer Marcus Collins; drag artist St Sordid Secret; singer and tv star Duncan James; singer Soraya Vivian; Bailey Bubbles; Divina De Campo from Ru Paul’s Drag Race and headline act Nadine Coyle from Girls Aloud.

To allow the festivities, parking will be suspended on Duncombe Place on Saturday between 8am and 1pm. Duncombe Place, High Petergate, Blake Street, St Helen’s Square and Lendal will also close to traffic.

Affected residents and businesses have been warned about potential disruption but Parade Director David Millar has thanked the city for the support Pride receives, saying many businesses will also decorate their premises to celebrate Pride.

“The principle aim of York Pride is to promote equality, diversity and advances in education to eliminate discrimination against the LGBT+ community. The parade attracts involvement from LGBT+ groups, local businesses, trade unions, political parties, the city’s and surrounding area secondary and primary schools, colleges and universities, many other organisations and a few thousand local residents, who come along, with family or with friends.”

Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities, at City of York Council says Pride Month in York is a brilliant opportunity to further equality and diversity.

Cllr Smalley looked forward to joining friends, colleagues and residents at the celebration and thanked the York Pride committee and York LGBT+ Forum.

He added: “It’s been 50 years since the first Pride march in the UK, and whilst today we live in a society where LGBTQ+ people can live openly and free, we can’t take progress for granted. Pride Month is an timely moment for all leaders in York, from businesses to civic society, to take meaningful action to ensure we can live in a city where no one is discriminated because of who they are or who they love.”

Council leader Keith Aspden, was also delighted “the city’s is showing its support for York Pride. Pride Month and the events taking place in the city will help us continue to raise awareness, celebrate our communities and encourage inclusiveness.”