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Hexham Pride: Inaugural LGBTQ+ Festival Takes Place in Market Town

Hexham Pride: Groundbreaking LGBTQ+ Festival Unveiled in Historic Market Town

A significant milestone is set to unfold as Hexham, a rural market town in Northumberland, prepares to host its inaugural pride festival throughout June.

Extensive community involvement, including consultations with residents and local businesses, has shaped a diverse program of events with a focus on inclusivity for families and young people.

According to organizer Richard Bliss, a convergence of individuals who shared a desire to celebrate pride in Hexham contributed to the festival’s creation. Bliss stated, “When the right people come together in the right place at the right time, extraordinary things can happen.”

Hexham, known for its progressive and embracing nature, is eager to showcase its open-mindedness. Bliss emphasized, “Our small towns deserve more recognition than they typically receive.”

Hexham Pride boasts an array of events encompassing film screenings, live music performances, theatrical showcases, engaging talks, author visits, captivating storytelling sessions, and thought-provoking poetry readings.

In a bid to adorn the town with vibrant symbolism, Hexham in Bloom will plant three “rainbow” flower beds throughout the area, encouraging residents to follow suit in their own front gardens, window boxes, and hanging baskets.

Local businesses are also enthusiastically participating by creating rainbow-themed window displays, with over 40 establishments already committed to showcasing their support.

Katy Taylor, the artistic director at Queen’s Hall, one of the festival’s supporters, along with Forum Cinema, Curious Arts, Northumberland Libraries, and Hexham in Bloom, expressed pride in supporting an inclusive and accessible event for the local community.

The festival has received generous funding from Historic England and the National Lottery.

Bliss, who played a pivotal role in organizing the region’s earlier pride events, praised the success of large-scale festivals like those in Newcastle and Durham but underscored the importance of exploring different avenues for pride celebrations. Hexham, with its unique character, provides an alternative setting for such an occasion.

The overwhelmingly positive response to the consultation process demonstrated the community’s support for Hexham Pride, with minimal resistance encountered.

Hexham Pride will captivate attendees until the 24th of June, marking a momentous chapter in the town’s history.

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