Picture gallery: Norwich Pride parade lights up city centre

Hundreds took to the streets of Norwich for the annual celebration of Norwich's lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) community on Saturday.

Rainbow colours, fancy dress and high spirits lit up Chapelfield Gardens and much of the rest of the city centre in support of equal rights and a safe, diverse society.

The aim of the day was to use music, debate, sport, history, arts and entertainment to raise awareness of LGBT issues and fight discrimination.

Stalls and talks were held inside and outside The Forum throughout the day, with the www.gaynorwich.com double decker bus parked up for all to see and a stage on Millennium Plain using one of the East Coast Truckers charity's lorries.

At midday a Question Time debate was held in Fusion at The Forum, with international LGBT campaigner Peter Tatchell and Norwich North MP Chloe Smith among the special guests.

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Around 500 people were gathered in Chapelfield Gardens as the day's main event, a parade through the city centre, got underway.

Miss Smith and Green Party deputy leader Adrian Ramsay spoke to the crowds ahead of the launch before Lord Mayor of Norwich Jenny Lay got the parade started, saying: 'How proud I am to be here and how proud the city is of it's creative LBGT community, and how pride I am that the Pride banner is hanging from the balcony of City Hall again.

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'I wish you well for this afternoon and would like to say that it is really wonderful to see you all here.

'I think there is more people here then there has been before and I shall be seeing you all again from the balcony of City Hall later.'

The parade was led off by the Dun Dun band from Chapelfield Gardens, down Theatre Street, along Gentleman's Walk, up Gaol Hill and past City Hall.

There was a very small protest group gathered outside Primark on Gentleman's Walk during the parade but Norwich Pride chairman, Julie Bremner, encouraged the revellers to ignore them.

The group was made up of local Christians, one holding a cross and others placards with messages such as 'Jesus said blessed are the pure of heart' and 'God commandeth all men everywhere to repent'.

The energetic and colourful parade continued on regardless though and made sure that the annual Norwich Pride event grew in popularity once more, having first been held in 2009.

Do you know of a community event in the Norwich area? Call reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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