Manchester Gay Pride Parade

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We arrived early in Manchester city centre hoping for a good place to view and aware of the vast crowds from previous years at this explosive annual event. We found a nice spot on Deansgate and we heard the parade long before we saw it! A couple of pretty mounted WPCs preceded the floats which arrived with a riot of colourful balloons. One float carried beautiful giggling lesbians waving "Gaily" at the happy crowds and enthusiastically waving "Rainbow" flags. On foot followed strolling musicians in a variety of exotic costumes, white winged Angels with halo's, giant puppets, wild Scots in kilts mixed and walked with Transvestites wearing micro-minis, black fish net stockings and impossible high heels. Behind them a more sedate police band in smart dress uniform played a rousing march followed by a startling pink fire engine and its crew of chunky grinning fire-fighters. A bunch of close cropped guys in red T-shirts and banners saying "Some people are gay – get over it!” laughed and joked with the appreciative onlookers as a rare shaft of Mancunian sunshine lit up the sequins on the dresses of some outrageous transvestites striding along, hands on hips provocatively pouting their scarlet lipstick. Some tiara wearing lady swept past waving an elegant gloved hand from her highly polished stretch Limo followed by a couple of noisy shaven headed black leather clad bikers revving up their big black bikes. A massed pipe band swept by, pipes at full blast, kilts swirling. And we spotted a celebrity from Coronation Street whose name escapes me and Christopher Biggins. A party of near naked bronzed and toned weight lifters sauntered along and caused quite a stir as did some elegant guys in ball gowns, heavy make up, big hair wigs and killer heels. A lot of floats were entrants from most major businesses, The NHS, charities, trade unions and political parties and a police car towing a blue telephone box covered in blue balloons. Apparently the theme of this year’s event was "Acceptable in the 80s". Celebrating the impact the 1980s had on the world of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender and HIV activism and its iconic music, fashion, film and television. This was a stunning parade, well worth visiting made up of over one hundred floats all starting at Liverpool Road going along Deansgate, St Annes Square, Cross St, Princess St and ending in Manchester's gay village where for many of the participants the fun had only just started. I had a feeling for them it was going to be a very very long night but for us we had a bus to catch!

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