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NHS Paramedics March With Joy During Manchester Pride

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NHS Paramedics March With Joy During Manchester Pride

Manchester Pride's Big Weekend is an August Bank Holiday fixture, turning the city into a carnival of colour.

The four-day-long LGBT+ celebration - which runs from Friday to Monday - brings around 25,000 people together.

Even the NHS have got involved with an ambulance joining in the street parade joined by paramedics marching alongside it.

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There are headline performances from Rita Ora, Sigala, Pete Tong, Alexandra Burke, Jake Shears and Louise over on Canal Street, as well as pop-up parties and events across the rest of the city centre.

The annual parade will wind its way through the streets on Saturday afternoon, before the long weekend closes with a candlelit vigil on Monday night.

Manchester Pride has come a long way since 1990, when the first 'official' parade took place.

It's also provided some magical moments over the years - with images of Manchester Pride and its positive message of inclusivity travelling around the world.

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Here are some of our favourites...

Sir Ian McKellen leads the Manchester Pride parade

Credit: Joel Goodman
Credit: Joel Goodman

The Burnley-born Hollywood star is known for his huge movie roles, including as Gandalf in Lord of the Rings and Magneto in X-Men. But the 79-year-old actor is a huge advocate for LGBT rights - and has been since coming out to the public in 1988.

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In 2015 he took on a different role - he was the Grand Marshal of the Manchester Pride parade, leading thousands of people through the city streets.

It was a truly epic homecoming.

The kiss that went around the world

Credit: Joel Goodman
Credit: Joel Goodman
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In 2016, two police officers warmed hearts and caused an eruption of applause on Deansgate, as they locked lips and shared a passionate kiss during the Manchester Pride parade.

It marks a staggering contrast to just 30 years earlier, when the gay community was still battling to expose the prejudice it faced - often at the hands of authorities.

Demand for sparkly police helmets also went through the roof.

Andy Burnham dancing to the YMCA

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Credit: Joel Goodman
Credit: Joel Goodman

During the 25th anniversary of Manchester Pride in 2017, the newly-elected Mayor of Greater Manchester could be seen not only supporting the festival, but getting involved too.

Andy Burnham was spotted dancing to the 1978 Village People classic 'YMCA', with the Greater Manchester Police as his backing dancers.

Alan Turing celebrates his 100th birthday

Credit: Instagram
Credit: Instagram

Alan Turing was one of the country's greatest ever scientific minds - he was influential in the development of theoretical computer science - but he was also a gay man, living in a time when that was illegal.

The Manchester-born scientist eventually took his own life in 1954 - two years after he had been prosecuted for homosexual acts.

In 2012, Manchester Pride celebrated the LGBT hero's 100th birthday and his accomplishments - and a year later, he was granted a posthumous pardon. His statue sits in Sackville Park, and can often be seen draped in the rainbow flag.

Manchester remembers - with the city's first openly gay Lord Mayor

Credit: Joel Goodman
Credit: Joel Goodman

At the end of the Manchester Pride Big Weekend, on the Monday night, a candle-lit vigil is held to remember those lost to the HIV virus and join together to fight the epidemic worldwide - as well as the stigma that still exists.

The vigil is the spiritual heart of the Manchester Pride Festival, and a poignant end to the four day event.

It was especially notable in 2016 as it was also attended by Carl Austin Behan - who was elected as Manchester's first openly gay Lord Mayor.

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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/@m_mdncs/Flickr

Topics: UK News, LGBT

Rachael Grealish
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