City prepares for Brighton Pride parade
The city's businesses and organisations have come out in support of this year's Brighton Pride.
Saturday’s celebrations (August 4) are set to be accompanied by a whole host of decorations, events and more including rainbow-painted coastguard patrol cars, flash mobs, a gay radio channel and floating nude inflatables.
Brighton Pride Community Parade’s smallest float will be present in the shape of local artist Jamie McCartney’s pink tuktuk.
Related stories: Brighton Pride 2018 live blog
The Brighton Body Casting business’ presence in the parade will be hard to miss as it will tow male and female nude helium balloons and have a life-size topless sculpture with water-squirting nipples mounted on a turntable on the back of the bike.
Mr McCartney said: “Brighton thrives on its reputation as a friendly, open, inclusive and laid-back city and this is the time when we get to show the whole world that we’re not kidding.
“It’s also a hell of a lot of fun!”
HM Coastguard will also show their colours after working with Babcock’s Vehicle Engineering (VE) business to give their patrol cars a Pride inspired make-over.
Richard Semmens, managing director of VE, said: “This time it’s what’s on the outside of the vehicle that counts.”
He said that they wanted to demonstrate their commitment to supporting pride and provide something that would stand out over Pride weekend.
These will not be the only vehicles to broadcast their passion for Pride, as Brighton and Hove Buses’ open-topped bus will feature programmes from popular gay radio station Gaydio.
Martin Harris, managing director of Brighton and Hove Buses, said: “We’re delighted once again to be running buses alongside our Pride partners to transport people safely to and from the event and to stand with them against homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, will join fellow police officers for the parade.
She said: “Brighton Pride is the biggest cultural event in the city’s calendar and showcases all that is great about the city and its vibrant LGBT community.
“This is my sixth year attending in my role as PCC and I’m really looking forward to joining Sussex Police officers on their march to Preston Park and meeting all those who help make this an important and fun day.”
A multi-coloured open-topped bus will take staff and volunteers from a homeless charity to celebrate Brighton Pride for the first time.
Members of The Clock Tower Sanctuary will ride the rainbow-painted vehicle, which will be one of the first 10 floats in the Pride Community Parade, to raise awareness of its work with the young homeless community.
Natalia Borg, development manager for The Clock Tower Sanctuary, said: “For us, it will be a chance to celebrate the generosity and compassion of local residents and businesses in our city.
“Without their support, there simply wouldn’t be a dedicated day centre for homeless young people.”
The bus was created through a joint venture involving health communications consultancy Pegasus and print provider One Digital.
Kat Thay, a spokesperson for Pegasus, said: “We’ve been supporting The Clock Tower Sanctuary for the last two years now with fundraising, donations to food banks and lending our skills and time where we can.
“Pride is a perfect platform to tell more people in Brighton about the impact the charity makes in our local community and it’s also a brilliant way for the hard-working volunteers to let their hair down, have fun and celebrate the vital role they play.”
The Clock Tower Sanctuary was established in 1998 and is a day-centre providing information, advice and guidance to homeless young people aged between 16 and 25.
It is the only centre of its kind in Brighton, with volunteers working with young homeless people to prevent long-term homelessness in adult life.
Last year, 74 volunteers provided 8,500 hours of support.
Natalia Borg said: “Many of the young people we work with flourish despite facing severe personal, family and social adversity.
“They inspire us every day and we are proud to work with them.”
Local employer American Express has installed a giant rainbow flag at its 1 John Street, Brighton office, ahead of this weekend’s Pride.
his year marks five years of Amex support of Brighton Pride and the tenth year of Amex colleague participation in the Community Pride Parade. More than 100 Amex colleagues, including many from the company’s Pride UK Colleague Network, will join the Parade on Saturday, sporting ‘Proud to celebrate diversity’ T-shirts and many more will be lining the route with family members and friends.
Finally, if the current heat-wave gets too much, Lynx and Superdrug will be bringing a beauty bar to the entrance of Brighton Pride’s main dance stage to offer festival-goers the chance to freshen-up throughout the weekend.
Jamie Brooks, Lynx’s brand manager, said: “We are extremely proud to be continuing our work in supporting young people to express their individuality by partnering with Pride for 2018.”
So, covered with colour and ready to celebrate, Brighton looks like a city that’s fully prepared for Pride.
Related stories: Health advice for Brighton Pride revellers