'Incredible' reaction to town's first ever Pride

A drag queen walks down the parade in a black corset spreading golden wings
Sherborne Pride includes a parade, a party in Pageant Gardens, and street markets [BBC]

The organiser of a rural town's first Pride event has described the community's reaction as "incredible".

Sherborne Pride kicked off at 10:00 BST on Sunday and includes a parade, a party in Pageant Gardens, and street markets.

Founder Sadie Wilkins said: "The community reaction has been incredible. This Pride belongs to the town, I just helped it happen."

A special concert features Vicki Vivacious from RuPaul’s Drag Race, ska band The Beat, and headliner Janice Robinson, known for her hit song I'm A Dreamer.

Members of Sherborne Bounce drum on small circular trampolines outside The Cross Keys pub, which has a Pride flag hanging on it
Sherborne Bounce took to the streets to drum on their trampolines [BBC]

The event aims to celebrate Dorset's diverse community "in full colour, with a message of love, acceptance, and inclusivity".

The parade saw Cheap Street lined with cheering onlookers in rainbow colours, while pop up performances took place around town by the likes of Sherborne Bounce, Merriott Majorettes, and Sherborne Rock Choir.

Ms Wilkins said: "Doing this has meant that the people in society who feel like they are different and not accepted for whatever reason, the people who are scared to be their authentic selves, can see themselves in others and feel accepted and like they belong.

"Visibility is everything."

Seven friends, flanked by stilt walkers, pose in front of a large colourful Pride banner in a park
Phoenix Dewberry (fourth from left, including the stilt walker) said it was "spectacular" seeing everyone celebrate Pride [BBC]
Smiling women in a vintage VW van, adorned with balloons and pride flags
The event's message is one of "love, acceptance, and inclusivity" [BBC]

Lux Angelsong, who travelled from Crewkerne in Somerset, described the day as "pretty incredible".

Lux added: "It’s such a big step forward for a smaller town, an amazing thing to accomplish... [I’m looking forward to] all the colours, and everybody being themselves. I just think that’s fantastic."

Lux Angelsong smiles for the camera on the street where the Pride parade is taking place. Lux has pink hair and circular glasses.
Lux Angelsong described the event as a "big step forward for a smaller town" [BBC]

Phoenix Dewberry, a Sherborne resident, said: "It’s absolutely spectacular seeing everyone here today.

"It’s definitely something that’s been needing to happen for so long. It’s so incredible to see the turnout.

"It’s really important for people like me, my partner, my family, so many friends, seeing not only people in our community attending of all kinds of ages, but also people supporting us.

"It’s a time when we need that so much. It is our lives, our wellbeing, and it’s beautiful. We love the colour, we love the glitter."

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