AFTER two years of being cancelled, the town centre flooded with colour yesterday as hundreds of people gathered to celebrate diversity, inclusivity, and visibility at the sell-out Bury Pride event.

@theburytimes Great turn out at Bury Pride today! #Bury #pride #lgbtq #pride2022 #Burypride #Burytimes #fyp #Community #diversity #tiktok @harrietheywood ♬ original sound - user4910800818412

Bury Times: Bury Pride marchBury Pride march

Flags, painted faces, and a fabulous array of love and equality hummed around the event, from the variety of performances, music, activities, and stalls to the Rainbow Walk, led by borough mayor, Cllr Tim Pickstone.

Bury Times: Mayor Tim Pickstone leading the Rainbow Walk through Bury Mayor Tim Pickstone leading the Rainbow Walk through Bury

Bury Samba group, Bloco Ashê, set the tempo for marchers pushing through Bury’s centre with chanting and cheering as weekend shoppers stepped back to spectate the celebratory walk.  

Bury Times: David Catterall, Lead Organiser of Bury Pride 2022David Catterall, Lead Organiser of Bury Pride 2022

David Catterall, the lead organiser of Bury Pride, said: “There’s so much to celebrate around diversity and we still don’t have equality for everyone.

“When there is more visibility there is more understanding and when there is more understanding there’s a reduction in things like crime and an increased tolerance.  

“We want to reflect on all the communities in Bury and spread the message of equality and representation.”

The walking rainbow parade began before Bury Pride, ran by a youth group of almost 100 people who would march through the town, loud and proud, celebrating their sexuality.

Bury Times: Police with Pride car outside of Bury CastlePolice with Pride car outside of Bury Castle

Since then, the council has been able to turn this into an extended pride event organised around the walk.

Bury Times: Victoria Carriáge Victoria Carriáge

Victoria Carriáge, Manchester Queen and self-proclaimed "beast from the southeast", said: “What a fabulous, colourful celebration of everything queer and beautiful.

“It’s so lovely, as a southerner who has only been here seven months, it is just amazing to be a part of this incredible celebration.”

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Among the crowds was Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service crew members who stepped up to the stage inside the Castle Armoury.

They said: “According to charities research, even today, LGBTQ+ colleagues feel that they cannot bring their whole selves to work, and others still find themselves subject to negative comments because of who they are.

“Research such as that has driven our commitment to embed equality, diversity, and inclusion across our organisation over the last few years.

“We're committed to inclusion in our workplace and I’m proud to tell you that we are now on Stonewall's list of top employers for LGBTQ+ people.”

Bury Times: Nyall GeogheganNyall Geoghegan

Firefighter Nyall Geoghegan added: “We're here today to support the community and the LGBTQ community as well as handing out leaflets, cards and stickers to help people stay safe during the summertime”.

Bury Times: Attendees dressed at Wanda and Loki variants Attendees dressed at Wanda and Loki variants

Attendees were rarely seen without a smile on their faces, despite all the dancing and walking.

Debbie Turrell and Julie Pitchforth rested their legs and looked back on the day.

Debbie said: “We have been inside and seen all the stalls and then went back outside to sing and dance along with all of the music.”

Bury Times: Kobrah performing on the drag stage Kobrah performing on the drag stage

Activities were also lined up inside The House of Bridget, on Silver Street in Bury.

Bury Times: Lisa Harvey-Nebil CEO of The Proud TrustLisa Harvey-Nebil CEO of The Proud Trust

CEO of The Proud Trust Lisa Harvey-Nebil said: “We’re a part of Bury Pride working with bury youth service to providing activities that we would do in youth clubs.

“We have a make your own bunting or badges table and activities to win some sweats whilst giving young people information about LGBT+ issues and just sharing information about the services available.”

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Bury Pride will be organising various other events this year with some running through The Met.

Saturday's march proved the perfect way to kick off the celebrations of equality, visibility, and representation in Bury.

Share with us your favourite part of the day by commenting below or tweeting us @BuryTimes.

You can also watch our Tik Tok from the day here.