Bolton Pride is just under two weeks away and is set to be bigger and better than ever.

A launch party will take place in Victoria Square as the festival returns on July 28 for three days.

The launch party will start with live entertainment from 5pm with last orders and entertainment finishing at 11pm.

There will be live music, entertainment and stalls throughout town over the weekend.

Bolton Town Hall will be lit up in rainbow colours and there will be a bigger stage in the square.

There will be a  VIP zone, and there will also be an quiet area in the Museum at Le Mans Crescent.

The parade will take place on Saturday starting at around 10.45 am.

Those taking part will meet at The Sward Building (University of Bolton) opposite The Chancellor's Building.

The parade will walk on ton College Way looking left towards McDonald's, the parade will continue down Trinity Street, past Sainsbury's on the right and Morrison's on the left, all the way past the train station up to Bradshawgate.

At Bradshawgate the parade will travel past Primark and up to Deansgate.

The parade will continue down Deansgate. The vehicles will go off to the right just after Wilko and the pedestrians in parade will continue on down the pedestrianised Deansgate up to Market Street.

The Bolton News: Bolton Pride set to returnBolton Pride set to return (Image: Bolton Pride)

At Market Street the parade will continue up and turn right onto Hotel Street.

The parade will reach its end point to be welcomed into Victoria Square where the opening ceremony and entertainment will begin.

There will also be speeches by key spokespersons to kick start the event.

There will then be a day of entertainment for all to enjoy in the town centre including Taylors Theatre Academy as the opening act alongside tribute acts including Making It Madonna, Absolute Britney, Keith George (Boy George tribute), Kelly Wild and more.

People need to register for the parade before the event on the Bolton Pride website.

On Sunday July 30, there will be a family fun day with Pride organisers working closely with Bolton Wanderers in the Community.

Bolton Pride Festival director, Rob Wright, said he cannot wait to welcome people back to the town for a weekend of great fun and entertainment.

Rob said: “I'm incredibly excited to be looking forwards to 2023 Pride in Bolton's Festival and Parade.

“As a proud Boltonian and town, we act as custodians of the Pride movement.

“Kev and I have worked tirelessly to reflect on last year’s feedback and implement the positive changes required to evolve Pride in Bolton and make it more visible, bigger, and even more inclusive including the new parade route that will start from the University of Bolton this year and increasing the festival’s operational house across festival weekend. We’re now approximately two weeks away.

“I’m constantly engaging with the community, and everyone keeps saying how brilliant Pride was last year and that they can’t wait for this year’s Pride festival and to celebrate just being themselves and feeling accepted in such a prominent location right in the heart of Bolton’s town Square surrounded by diversity including non LGBTQI+ Allies and families.

“I’m extremely focused on building on the success of Pride in Bolton year on year.

“We’re all conscious of the news on the world stage regards trans rights and some of the horrific gay purges that continue to be orchestrated in certain places around the world and It’s important that we keep momentum and Pride doesn’t lose its grass roots heritage or profound message of acceptance and equality.

The Bolton News: Two weeks to go until Bolton PrideTwo weeks to go until Bolton Pride (Image: Bolton Pride)

“I recently attended our community update session where we were updated on the hate crime statistics in and around GM including Bolton and it was still shocking to hear that they still in this day and age of education, advancements in technology etc that the LGBTQI+ and BAME are still suffering stigma, bigotry, homophobia, transphobia and discrimination and stereotyping and the statistics continue to rise and are more likely bigger than what has been reported as a lot of hate crime doesn’t appear to get reported due to perception or fear. 

“However, I will always continue to encourage anyone that suffers what they perceive to be a hate crime to contact the police or their nearest reporting centre in confidence and I urge them to be patient and follow through.

“Our website has a button you can click in confidence to make a report. I often speak with friends and allies alike, and it saddens us to see that there is such misunderstanding and misconception.  LGBTQI+ is here to stay, we’re not going away, I encourage anyone to just start a positive conversation.

“For me it’s about standing up for the LGBTQI+ allies that can’t or are too afraid to, it’s about equality, dignity and respect and reminding ourselves why Pride’s take place every year.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to thank our volunteers and forward-thinking supporter’s that help to make the festival and parade successful.!

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