Celebration of diversity at inaugural Gay Pride event

Deborah Coleman

Published 16/08/2014 | 00:00

ARKLOW came alive with a true sense of pride on Sunday as the town hosted its inaugural Arklow Pride event.

Organised by the local LGBT Social Drop-in Group, the event took place in the town centre with a Gay Pride march followed by a balloon release to celebrate inclusion and diversity within the communiyt.

Founder of the local group and event organiser Dave Thomas said that the positve response to Arklow Pride surpassed all expectations.

'This wasn't just a Gay Pride event, it was a community event for everyone in Arklow and surrounding areas to come together and celebrate diversity and inclusion. We were delighted with the turnout and that there were people of all ages, families and community groups out to show their support and to enjoy the event,' Dave explained.

As part of the event there was face painting, live music with Privado Ronan McCauley and karaoke, Arklow Pride Breakfast at Blue Cafe leading up to a symbolic rainbow balloon release at the Bandstand on Main Street.

The party atmosphere was then in full swing as the group returned to Christy's for a Drag Show featuring Arklow entertainer Kandy La Rouge, aka Kane Molloy Barnes.

'Considering this was the first time we had an event like this in Arklow, it became larger than I initially planned, more elaborate than I had hoped, and received so well by Arklow – more than I had expected,' added Dave, who credits the support for the event to the time and effort spent promoting the LGBT Social Drop-in Group which has been in existance for almost three years.

'We have tried really hard to put out lots of positive news about our group and to let people know there is a LGBT community in Arklow which is part of the wider community.

'We received a lot of genuine support and we are already hoping to run Arklow Pride 2015.'

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