Darlington Pride festival returns to the town for three days this weekend, starting on Saturday.
The event runs until Monday (9 August).
The free, three-day family-friendly event is being led by Darlington Borough Council and a group of volunteers, with evening celebrations programmed by bar owners.
This year’s sponsors include London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and Newcastle Building Society.
On Saturday, there will be live bands, speeches, tribute acts, kids activities, information stalls and a variety of performances, including from Darlington Operatic Society, Majestic Theatre and Tracks Darlington in the Market Square from 12pm-6pm.
Special guests include Attitude Pride Award 2021 winner Olly Pike, BBC’s RuPaul Drag Race UK winner Lawrence Chaney, and hosts; TV and radio presenter Dan Westwood, singer and radio presenter Sam Dickinson, and iconic local drag queen Miss Tess Tickle.
Drag Race UK star Cherry Valentine supports Darlington Pride pop-up vaccine clinics
Cherry Valentine, star of the second season of Drag Race UK, has recorded a video message to encourage everyone who is eligible to get their COVID vaccinations at Darlington’s Pride Weekend to grab a jab at one of its pop-up clinics.
Cherry, (AKA George Ward), is a professional drag performer and qualified NHS mental health nurse from Darlington.
The video message encourages people to go along to one of the pop-up COVID vaccine clinics, supplied by NHS Northumberland CCG, that will be in Darlington town centre on both Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 5pm.
There will be prizes and giveaways, and information stalls from the council, local LGBTQI+ organisations, Darlington Police, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, Darlington Football Club, counselling support service Arcus, the Alzheimer’s Society, NHS and more.
On Sunday 8 August, ‘Picnic in the Park’ will take place with acoustic musicians, story time for kids, a family Rainbow Trail and a performance from Voices of Darlington at South Park, 12pm-3pm.
On Monday 9 August, the town’s traditional Gay Pride night will return to Blackwellgate and in town centre bars, including special guests and themed events from 5pm until late.