Images taken by Ellee Su
Saturday 4th of June marked the beginning of a five-day long celebration of Pride in Oxfordshire, starting at 12pm with a Pride Parade in Radcliffe Square. The event was organised by Oxford Pride, and is the twentieth anniversary of the celebration, and the return of the celebrations after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event marks the beginning of a whole month of celebrations, culminating in the Annual General Meeting for Oxford Pride on the 5th of July. While the majority of the celebrations took place on Saturday the 4th, other events will also be held across the week. A Pride BBQ Party was held at Christ Church on Sunday and a Pride Picnic and Paddle will also take place at Hinksey Outdoor Pool. Film nights, such as a screening of “Boys Don’t Cry”, are scheduled at The Ultimate Picture Palace on Cowley Road on the 13th of June. For a whole timeline of pride-related events, click here.
Saturday’s event included a street procession, with packed audiences watching the stages, and people from across Oxford wearing flags and other associated Pride paraphernalia.
People started assembling as early as 10:30 am in Radcliffe Square, amassing a sizeable crowd by the time the procession began at 12pm. Pride Day itself took place in a number of different locations across the city; with Westgate’s Leiden Square hosting the Jamie Cameron Community Stage with live entertainment, the Oxford Castle Quarter hosting Eura Freak and Lady B, and County Hall hosting additional family-friendly activities. ABBA Dream, an ABBA tribute act, also headlined the Castle Quarter stage.
The day concluded with a Paradise Street Party, that took place at the Jolly Farmers Pub until 10pm. DJs led the celebrations between 4-10pm.
Alana Stewart, the communications officer for Oxford Pride, said; “In the last few years, the UK has dropped down in the charts in terms of LGBT rights and that’s happened since the last pride in 2019, so it’s massively important for people to be here, when you’ve got the conversion therapy ban going on. A lot of people have been isolated, and are back with their families now so it’s exciting to make up for lost time.”