On Saturday July 28th 2018, Macclesfield held its first ever Pride event, filling the town centre with colour, music and rainbows! The sun shone for most of the day, the rain came and went quickly and many people gathered in the town centre to join in the fun!

The Superbowl UK stage attracted a large crowd throughout the afternoon, who cheered, danced and sang along as a succession of great acts performed. The stalls, games and plenty of food and drink were enjoyed by local people and also visitors who had travelled to support MaccPride and revel in a day where they could express themselves freely and celebrate diversity. Many had made a special effort to dress for the occasion. Brooklyn, a young person who was drawing many admiring comments, with their glamorous outfit and striking make up, said ‘This is a great place to be, a place where you can reveal your true self’.

Sophie Armitt, 18, one of the organisers, wanted to thank everyone who had helped plan and support the event. ‘It has been a huge success,’ she said. ‘Looking through the town centre it is amazing to see so many different types of people in one safe space. This is something I’ve never seen before in Macclesfield. We have been overwhelmed by the level of support we have been shown locally’.

The MaccPride team were spreading the message that it is also important to hold Pride events to stand with the LGBTQ+ community internationally, many of whom do not have the same rights and privileges as in this country. Pride aims to educate and inform, as lack of knowledge and understanding are often the biggest barriers to unity and equality; people are sometimes suspicious and fearful of what they do not understand, which can lead to negative reactions. ‘Many of us have found that some people are unsure, but when they get to know us and see that who we love or how we express ourselves doesn’t make us any different from anybody else, acceptance and understanding soon follow’, said Rachel Hartley-Dickens, who was running the official MaccPride Raffle stall on Saturday.

Stallholder Louise Brown, who sold a huge number of her very popular chocolate brownies, was thrilled to be invited to be involved in the event. ‘It was great to be part of the inaugural Pride event in Macclesfield,’ she said. ‘It was colourful, lively and had a fantastic atmosphere. Everyone was clearly having fun and I’m looking forward to next year.’

After a busy afternoon in the town centre, the organising team and many friends and guests enjoyed a fabulous Afterparty at Fever & Boutique, where they celebrated the success of the first MaccPride, and even started planning the next one!