This bank holiday weekend, the Manchester Pride festival is back, bigger and better than ever. With loads of wild, wacky and wonderful events planned, including performances from chart toppers and the famous pride parade, you’re certain to have a fabulous time.

The festival is funded by Manchester Pride, a registered charity that campaigns for equality and provides opportunities and support to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. The charity raises money for LGBT causes and HIV projects by running events throughout the year, including The Manchester Pride Spring Benefit and Superbia.

With superstars such as Groove Armada, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Will Young and MNEK performing during the four-day celebration, thousands are expected to flock to Manchester to join what is, undeniably, one of the boldest festivals around. Expect a full assault on the senses in the Gaydio Dance Arena, “where disco meets dance and DJs meet drag artists”, or just relax and suck up the atmosphere in one of the many restaurants and bars that make up Manchester’s Gay Village.

On Saturday 27th August, hit the streets to see the iconic Manchester Pride Parade march through the City. With tens of thousands of spectators expected to attend, the event will be a kaleidoscope of colour. There are over 3000 participants this year, so get ready to see some outlandish floats and marchers. Due to the popularity of this event, make sure to plan ahead by taking a look at the parades route at www.bigweekend.manchesterpride.com/whats-on/parade

In the midst of all the fun, games and garishness, it’s important to remember why the festival was organised in the first place. The culmination of the celebration is The Candlelit Vigil, which takes place in Sackville Gardens. The vigil is held for all those who have lost their lives to HIV- it aims to bring awareness to the epidemic and fight the stigma that, unfortunately, is still so prevalent. It’s also a time for individuals to honour those close to them that may have passed away and provide support to one another in the ongoing battle against discrimination and prejudice. Showing a strong and united front, the vigil is the heart of Manchester Pride.

To find out more about the event, please visit Manchester Pride’s website at www.manchesterpride.com.

If you’re coming to the City especially for the weekend, then visit the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre. Our all day dining menu is packed full of delicious dishes, so we’re the perfect venue for lunch or dinner. We also have a fabulous range of Manchester themed cocktails that’ll give you a true taste of the City. Check out our menus at www.himanchestercity.com/eat. If you’re looking for a place to stay during the event, please book at www.himanchestercity.com.

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