A Town Pride event which saw 500 visitors last year is up and running again for its second year with a host of music and a rainbow digger.

Bicester Pride is set to take place over this coming Friday (12), Saturday and Sunday at The Nightingale bar and restaurant in Langford Village, Bicester.

The event will open at 6pm on Friday, August 12, with the first act – Pete Valentine as George Michael – taking place at 8pm.

Saturday will see Richard Snow as Elton John, along with a drag show, and guests on Sunday can enjoy singer and songwriter Jennah, along with camp karaoke with Funky Mike.

There will also be a DJ all weekend, with all music taking place inside the venue.

Community stalls, including Body Shop, Gifts of the Galaxy, Silver Star Society, Bicester Face Painting, Grey Matters Consultancy and Bicester Fire Station will all be held in the car park throughout each day.

Director of Bicester Pride CIC Christina Riley said: “I was born in Oxford, and throughout my growing up there was no LGBTQ+.

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“Oxford Pride only started in 2003, there was nothing during the 70s, 80s or 90s.

“I moved to Bicester 30 years ago, and there was nothing in the way of LGBTQ+ events, so I founded Bicester Pride a couple of years ago.

“I didn’t know any LGBTQ+ people here, but people turned up the event and it just showed a huge demand for it in Bicester.

The event is being supported by Bicester Village, with the Bicester Village Make a Difference fund gifting £2000 towards the proceedings.

There will also be £2,500 worth of raffle prizes to be won over the weekend.

Miss Riley added: “We’re working with Bicester Town Council events committee to shape Bicester Pride into something that grows more and more over the next few years.

“Last year was a two-day event and we sold 500 tickets, this year is a three-day event with 200 tickets available for each day, and so far we’ve sold a total of 350 tickets.

“We were also invited to have a Pride march during Bicester Festival in July, and as we grow, we’d like to have our own parade.

“It was amazing to see so many people coming to support us during Bicester Festival.”

Gay Pride commemorates the Stonewall riots, which began in the early hours of June 28, 1969, after police raided the Stonewall Inn bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village neighbourhood.

Before the Stonewall riots, LGBTQ+ individuals had generally not broadcast their sexual orientation or identity, but the event galvanized the community and sparked greater political activism.


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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