Pride celebrated in Newton Aycliffe for the first time

Hundreds of people turned out at Newton Aycliffe to celebrate the Pride festival for the first time on Saturday 6 August.

Usually the LGBTQ+ event is held in large cities like Newcastle, but organisers from County Durham felt it was time to hold a smaller event in their own town.

Organiser, Carrie Howarth told ITV News Tyne Tees: "It was time for Aycliffe to have some kind of Pride.

"Some kind of show to all those in Aycliffe that is part of the gay community, part of the LGBT community, that we love them and that we care and that no matter what, they’re not discriminated against.

"They’re here for us and we’re here for them."

Singer at Newton Aycliffe Pride Credit: ITV News

Tribute acts included Pink, Kylie and Lady Gaga and the event was MC’d and hosted by local drag artist Lavender Love.

Ms Love said: "I am beyond proud. Being born and bred in Aycliffe and getting to do this event it’s just a major life like achievement for me, because having Pride in my home town, it’s just… I can’t describe it.

"Small Northern towns aren’t always the most accommodating to people that are different, but we’re celebrating difference, we’re celebrating love and we’re showing the Aycliffe is tolerant and accepting and loving."

People enjoying Pride in Newton Aycliffe Credit: ITV News

The family event also included craft stalls, food stands, rides and ice creams too.

One boy said: "I think it’s a very good opportunity for people to show their true colours."

A girl said: "Honestly, I think it’s really nice to show that we’ve moved on as a society to accept unique people."

Their mother celebrated the equality and inclusion involved in Pride and said: "I think it will bring individuals out who wouldn’t normally come out dressed as like how they want to be dressed and I think that’s really progressive and really good."