LEADING THE WAY Mayo native Panti Bliss will lead Saturday's Pride Parade in Westport.
Mayo Pride is back in Westport with an explosion of diversity, inclusivity and colour from July 1 to July 3. The main parade on Saturday, July 2, will be led by Ballinrobe native, Dr Panti Bliss (Rory O’Neill).
In her own words: “I’m delighted to be involved in Mayo Pride ... it’s a reminder that LGBTQ+ people live and thrive all across the country. The event would have delighted a disbelieving young Panti who thought she was the only gay west of the Shannon.”
Chair of Mayo Pride, Conor Wilson, adds: “Mayo Pride has always been important for showcasing the colour and creativity of the local LGBTQ+ community in the region.
But recent attacks are an upsetting reminder of how much we still have to do to create an Ireland that is truly safe and equal. Regional prides in are extra important this year as we celebrate and showcase our resilience as a community.
Our visibility is our solidarity, and we ask our LGBT+ family and allies to join us in Westport for the parade and events.”
This year’s Mayo Pride encourages adventure with lots of activities taking place outdoors in the beautiful surroundings of Westport. Daytime events include Ride With Pride, a jaunt along the stunning Greenway, The Big Gay Hike up Croagh Patrick, Sea Pride swimming complete with Barrel West Sauna, a Pride soundtrack supplied by Mr Whippy Soundsystem along with delish food by Teach Scoile.
Pride goers will also be able to unwind take a Pride Cruise around the gorgeous Clew Bay. Family events include Drag Storytime and the Pride Family Rave andPicnic.
By night, Mayo Pride presents a post-parade party extravaganza featuring Ireland’s favourite queer club night and firm festival favourite Mother on Saturday night.
Friday’s nighttime antics will include a Fierce Queer Cabaret, featuring drag queen extraordinaire Candy Warhol, the all-singing, all-dancing comedy duo Floozy and
Bluesy, performer The Dirt Bird, and comedian Sinead Walsh along with Westport
native drag superstar Fagatha Christy. Conor Behan (2FM) and Ragin’ Spice (Spinster) will be spinning tunes to keep you dancing late into the night.
The Mayo Pride Parade will take place in Westport for the first time ever on Saturday, July 2 at 2pm with Grand Marshall Dr Panti Bliss led by The Westport Town Band playing some classics. The parade begins at the Fairgreen at 1.45pm and ends at The Quay.
Event registration and tickets are on sale from www.mayopride.com. Places are limited.