Ely Cathedral is flying a rainbow flag to celebrate city's first Pride festival
PUBLISHED: 17:53 07 August 2018 | UPDATED: 17:53 07 August 2018
Ely Cathedral will fly a rainbow flag to celebrate the city's first ever Pride festival this Saturday (August 11).
With days to go before the iconic event takes place, the Dean of Ely has pledged his support for the community event, which is a celebration of people from all backgrounds, regardless of age, ethnicity, sexuality or gender.
In an unprecedented move, Ely Cathedral is due to fly a Pride flag from its tower from Friday afternoon, to promote the festival taking place the following day.
The Very Reverend Mark Bonney said: “I am pleased first of all to lend my backing to this community event because it celebrates the breadth and diversity of the community in which we all live.
“I am also very conscious that Christians have not always been perceived as being very supportive and inclusive as some of us would wish, and so I am pleased to fly this flag as a sign of the kind of inclusion that I wish to promote at the Cathedral.”
Fritha Love, one of the organisers of Pride in Ely, said she was “completely overwhelmed” by the decision, saying it reflected Ely’s spirit of acceptance.
“This is a massive and very visible show of support from the Cathedral.
“I approached the Dean of the Cathedral to discuss our event and about raising the Pride flag, and I was absolutely delighted to hear that the Cathedral had agreed!
“Peterborough Pride have loaned us their Pride flag and we can’t wait to see it flying above the city.
“It goes to prove it doesn’t matter who you are, from whichever walk of life, we can all celebrate inclusion and have ‘pride’ in Ely.”
Pride in Ely will take place this Saturday from 10am to 5pm in Jubilee Gardens, featuring a host of free family entertainment.
Although the event is primarily a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender celebration, its organisers hope everyone will join in the fun.
The day will be hosted by the legendary Felicity Flappes, formerly of The Dot Cotton Club, East Anglia’s longest running gay night, as well as Double DD, and will include music by For The Hornets, The Warmups, Rock Vox Choir and Rachel Charles.
Entertainment will include a display by The Raptor Foundation, kids’ yoga, refreshments, face painting, and a Pride themed rock art event by Ely Rock Eels.
The event is supported by police, the fire brigade, ambulance service and RAF.
Fritha said: “We have lots to do for everyone, an entertainment area with great local acts, many stalls, activities for all ages, food and drink and an amazing show of support from our emergency services - helping us make it a brilliant fun day for all!
“Extra special thanks from the Pride team to the Dean and the Cathedral, the Mayor who is opening our event officially at 1300 and most of all to our amazing supporters - we made this happen!”
There will also be an adult only Pride after party from 7pm to 2am at the Riverside Bar & Kitchen, featuring Vicki Symonds, Short & Sweet and Chief Koala.
For more information see www.facebook.com/events/331217747373761/