Sussex

Brighton Pride: Thousands turn out to watch parade

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Media captionThe first Brighton and Hove gay pride march was staged in 1973

About 300,000 people have gathered in Brighton for the annual Pride event.

The Pet Shop Boys are among those headlining the event at Preston Park, which was started with a parade through the city.

Other acts appearing at the ticketed event at the end of the route include Years & Years, Louisa Johnson and David Morales.

The event is marking 50 years since the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales.

Image copyright Eddie Mitchell
Image caption Crowds gathered all along the route to watch the parade
Image copyright Bubblegumcowboy
Image caption The parade took several hours to complete the route to Preston Park

The first Brighton and Hove gay Pride march was staged in 1973, but did not return to the city until 1991 amid political anger over Section 20's ban of the promotion of homosexuality.

Image copyright Brighton and Hove City Council
Image caption About 300,000 people were expected to join in the Pride celebrations
Image copyright Sussex Police
Image caption Sussex Police officers with sniffer dogs were out at Preston Park to deter people from taking drugs into the park

At the scene: Kathryn Langley, BBC News

The streets of Brighton are a rainbow of colours as the city celebrates Pride.

The festival began with a show-stopping display by the Princess of Wales' Parachute Regiment, which performed a freefall parachute jump to deliver the rainbow flag to Hove Lawns.

Huge crowds gathered on the seafront in glorious sunshine to watch the parade get under way.

At least 100 floats were taking part this year with some amazing psychedelic costumes on show to celebrate the Summer of Love theme.

I spotted Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne having a great time as she walked with Sussex Police towards the front of the parade.

And one of the biggest cheers from the crowd was for Brighton's famous 'oldest gay in the village' George Montague, now 94, as he sailed past on his scooter.

Image caption Brighton sunshine greeted those gathered at Hove Lawns for the start of the parade
Image caption The theme of this year's Pride is the Summer of Love

Assistant Chief Constable Laurence Taylor, of Sussex Police, said: "Months of preparation have taken place in the lead up to Pride and, as in previous years, public safety is our main priority."

Image copyright Ben Weisz
Image caption The "oldest gay in the village" George Montague took his usual place in the procession
Image copyright Sarah Browne
Image caption About 100 floats took part in the parade
Image copyright Will Flockton
Image caption Those lining the streets of Brighton and Hove were treated to quite a display
Image copyright Jon Hunt
Image caption The parade made its way to Preston Park

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