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EXCITING plans are being made for Exeter Pride on Saturday, May 13, 2017.

It will be the biggest free celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) communities in the county of Devon - and is one of the first in the UK summer calendar of similar such events.

The ninth annual event will include the always popular rainbow flag parade from the St Sidwell Centre down Exeter High Street to Northernhay Gardens, Exeter Phoenix, Exeter Library and Rougemont Gardens, where a packed programme of activities will await.

Last year thousands of people attended Exeter Pride and those taking part in the parade included community groups, firefighters, police, students, trade union and business LGBT+ groups plus individuals.

The parade also included roller skaters, Street Heat samba band, a fire engine, an ambulance, Morris dancers and volunteers carrying a 50-metre rainbow flag.

Those who support Exeter's LGBT+ communities are invited to join in the 2017 parade.

The events and activities during the day will all be family-friendly and include activities for children, young people and adults.

Plans include a bigger Pride Marketplace, including dozens of stalls from various organisations.

Also planned is a heath zone, workshops, film shows, panel debate, trans workshop and many other activities.

There will be information from local, national and international organisations, demonstrations, as well as fun activities.

In addition to a full programme of stage acts from local performers, bands, choirs and one or two exciting surprise guests throughout the day; a yet to be announced headline act will be hosting the Exeter Pride Live Eurovision Party in Exeter Phoenix during the evening.

Chris Scadden, the newly elected chair of Exeter Pride committee, said: "Exeter Pride is a celebration of the city and county's LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans) communities.

"It is about us having pride in our contributions to not just a vibrant and diverse city, but all of Devon and the city and county having pride in us.

"It's also important that, in the 50th anniversary year of the passing of the Sexual Offences Act and the beginning of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in the UK, that Exeter and Devon show a message of hope, solidarity and support to International LGBT+ communities still facing oppression, imprisonment and often violence.

He added: "Exeter Pride would not be possible without generous donations from local businesses, organisations and individuals and the fundraising efforts of volunteers.

"Together with generous sponsorship from our partners, we are able to keep all our daytime events free-of-charge."

Mr Scadden thanked the 50 volunteers who help stage the event each year and said that without their support it would not be such a success.

He added: "We are currently welcoming approaches from those who would like to get involved as volunteers, have a stall or be a partner or sponsor."

To get in touch, email Chris.

Exeter Pride

Exeter Pride is a celebration of the LGBTQ+ communities and diversity within Exeter and the surrounding regions.

We thank all those who help to make this event possible, not only the small and dedicated group of trustees and committee members but also our partners, sponsors, volunteers, and all those who assist in some way.

History of Exeter Pride

The first ever Exeter Pride was on February 28 2009, then March 27 2010, April 9 2011, March 31 2012, March 23 2013, May 10 2014, May 16 2015 and May 7 2016.

The date for the ninth Exeter Pride in 2017 will be announced later this year.

© Exeter Pride. All rights reserved. Exeter Pride is a registered Charity: 116 1062