Nottinghamshire Pride '06-'12
Nottinghamshire Pride timeline '06 - '12
10,000 people came to sunny Nottingham Pride in 2006.
That’s not a huge number compared to those going to similar events in London, Birmingham or Manchester. Nottingham Pride, however, is very laid back, very family-friendly with lots of children, not dominated by commercial interests and achieves an almost precise 50:50 female/male split.
There were lots of stalls from non-gay organisations e.g. the City Council, Victim Support etc
July 2007 was the wettest July on record, yet the Pride Committee chose the month’s one fine day for that year’s event.
There have been rumours (not yet denied) that the Pride Committee guarantee good weather by taking part in a naked ritual anti-rain dance. Numbers attending rose again and reached over 12,000.
In parallel with 2007, the weather forecast for Pride 2008 was dire ... rain + thunder storms ... and again the end result was a perfect sunny day. Our favourite thing was the giant, dancing squirrel.
The record numbers of people attending have now caused a problem in that they exceeded the Council's "health and safety" limits for the Arboretum, so future events may have to be moved to a bigger (but not necessarily better) venue.
We were cheered to see a poster in the City Centre set up by Nottingham Methodist Mission, saying "God loves pink" and giving information about Pride.
2009's novelty was the march which preceded the opening of Pride. About 1000 people paraded from the Forest Recreation site,down Mansfield Rd, turning onto Shakespeare Street and then up Sherwood Street to the Arboretum.
Casual shoppers and passers by seemed to enjoy their unexpected diversion.
The march contained a familiar face from the 1980s.
In 2010, having outgrown the Arboretum, Pride moved to the Forest Recreation site. There were gains and losses. Easier access;less attractive surroundings. More stalls; things more spread out. There was a rather pathetic demo by some young Muslim males near to the entrance.
Pride 2011 was the second year at the Forest Recreation Ground and the larger area was needed as 25,000 people turned up. This year Nottingham Pride became Nottinghamshire Pride, to recognise that those attending came from all over the County - and in many cases from even further afield.
The march was well populated. The Mayor and the Chair of the County Council were amongst the marchers.
The Pride Committee still seemed to have some control over the weather as Saturday July 31st 2011 continued the sequence of fine days which started in 2003.
2012 was the year when the Pride committee decided to extend the event over 2 days. The general consensus was that they overreached themselves. Saturday was quite successful and was preceded by a well-populated march, but Sunday was a double wash out both in terms of attendance and weather.
Unfortunately, we hear that the event made a substantial loss.
Gaydio wishes Nottinghamshire pride all the best this year and for years to come. Don't forget, it's not to late to take part in project pride. If you were there and have some fantastic tales to tell, get in touch!
Reproduced from Nottinghamshire's Rainbow Heritage with kind permission.