Belfast Pride will take place on Saturday and following the Covid-19 pandemic also sees the full return of the parade and a full calendar of events around the day.
In 2019, over 60,000 people attended the event in the city and organisers are hoping to break that number this year for what would be the biggest event since the foundation of the parade in 1991.
The event comes as the Public Health Agency are warning those joining the celebration to be aware of the signs and symptoms of monkeypox, amid rising cases with the majority of those being among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men.
The build-up for the main parade through the streets of the city will begin at 11.30am, with the actual parade then kicking off at 1pm sharp. It is expected to run until around 3pm according to a notice on the Parade’s Commission website.
The main parade begins at Custom House Square before travelling down High Street. It then takes a turn on to Bridge Street and on past Waring Street. Marchers will then proceed to Donegal Street and down Royal Avenue, before continuing to Donegal Place. The final stages of the parade will take place on Chichester Street before finishing at Victoria Street.
As a result of the parade police have warned it is likely there will be delays in the city centre during the afternoon.
A PSNI spokesperson said: “There are several events scheduled to take place in Belfast City Centre on Saturday, July 30th as part of the Belfast Pride Festival that will attract large numbers of people into the city centre.
“The Belfast Pride Parade will be moving through the city centre from 1pm tomorrow afternoon.
“Police will seek to keep traffic moving through the city centre throughout the day where possible, however, motorists are advised that delays should be expected.”
Even if you don’t take part in the actual parade itself, there is still plenty of other activities to enjoy on Saturday. These include the free ‘Big Pride Picnic’ at the lawn of Belfast’s City Hall between 12 and 3pm. It will feature fun for all the family including bouncy castles, storytelling with Libraries NI and temporary tattoos.
There will also be a ‘Places of Pride’ walking tour around the city hosted by the LGBT Heritage Project, Rainbow Project and Cara-Friend. The tour will start at the Northern Mall in Great Victoria Street at around 2.15pm, with a leisurely walk through “important and forgotten” places of LGBT+ history.
Of course for those seeking some entertainment during the rest of the day, the Belfast Pride evening always promises a host of special club and bar events across the city as part of the celebration.
More information can be found on the main Belfast Pride website here.