A HUGE feeling of joy and excitement spread across York as Pride celebrations returned to the city.

Crowds gathered in their thousands to take part in the York Pride fun today (June 3), lighting up the streets across the city with colours and smiles.

The festival began at 12pm with the renowned Pride parade from York Minster to the Knavesmire - with plenty of colour on display as the floats travelled through the city centre.

Supporters gathered in their thousands at the Minster - donning their rainbow colours and flags in support of the event.

Members of the crowd could be heard singing 'Don't Stop Me Now' by Queen as they prepared to take part in the parade.

One Pride supporter, Andrew Simpson, followed the parade on a special bike with E.T as his passenger.

York Press: Andrew Simpson joins in with the Pride fun in YorkAndrew Simpson joins in with the Pride fun in York (Image: Newsquest)

YO1 Radio hosted a float during the event, which The Press also supported.

Members of York Labour Party also joined in with the fun, showing support with their banners and rainbow decorations.

One of York's Sightseeing Buses was parked in St Helen's Square covered in flags and banners to join the parade.

Team members from the emergency services, including North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, joined in with the Pride fun, with ambulances, police cars and fire engines decorated with rainbows.

York Press: Members of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at York PrideMembers of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service at York Pride (Image: Newsquest)

First Bus was also on hand to show support with a vehicle joining in the parade as a float.

Following the parade, the crowds made their way down to the Knavesmire, where they will be treated to an afternoon and evening of entertainment.

For the main event, the organisers teamed up with QueerArts UK CIC to offer a QueerArts stage with sponsorship from local organisations across the city including York University and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Organisers have said the stage is the ‘first of its kind’ and will champion local and homegrown LGBTQ+ talent from singing, dancing, drag, burlesque, stand-up and more.

York Press: The team from First Bus at York PrideThe team from First Bus at York Pride (Image: Newsquest)

Headlining the stage will be singer Beth McCarthy, who rose to fame after appearing on The Voice aged 16.

Community drag performers The Family Shambles will be hosting the stage with the main host Bailey Bubbles, with sponsorship from York counselling service, Serendipity.

The stage will also include a performance from York’s LGBTQ+ choir Colours of the Rainbow.

An official afterparty will be held at Ziggy's Bar and Nightclub from 7pm until late.