A pride event took the weekend by storm with sell out crowds, live music and an array of community stalls.

Bicester Pride returned for its second-year last weekend, its organisers putting on a three-day event at The Nightingale bar and restaurant, in Bicester, which attracted over 600 people.

Mayor of Bicester Alex Thrupp attended on Friday, August 12 to show his support, and the first official Pride Flag raising ceremony took place at Garth Park, also supported by the mayor, along with Bicester Town Council.

Bicester Advertiser: The Bicester Pride committeeThe Bicester Pride committee

The event launched on Friday evening with a performance by Pete Valentine, who graced the crowd with his George Michael tribute set.

On Saturday, guests were treated to a performance by Colours and Fires, an acoustic Indie folk band from Reading, which was followed by Richard Snow, who played the keyboard during his Elton John tribute.

Saturday night also saw a drag artist, and closing musician Jennah, who performed her knock out dance hits.

Jennah is shortlisted for the Northamptonshire Local Music Awards for Album of the Year and Pop Artist of the Year.  

Director of Bicester Pride CIC Christina Riley said: “This is why this event is so special.

“It captures the spirit of Bicester and shows that pride is for everyone.

“While pride is a celebration and protest for LGBTQ+ people in the town, it is also an event for families and relatives of those people, as well as their friend and allies.

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“It was fantastic to see such a diverse turnout for our second year.

“We were proud to raise funds for local charities too, including Nai’s House, who do so much work for suicide prevention and mental health.

“Along with OYAP. And we also had stall holders from local crafts supporting the event over the weekend.”

Bicester Advertiser: Jennah performing at Bicester PrideJennah performing at Bicester Pride

The Pride community was also supported by separate events across the town, including Bicester Parkrun, who hosted a rainbow run on Saturday morning.

As well as Bicester Fire Station, who spent Saturday afternoon raising awareness of inclusion in joining the emergency services.

This week, Bicester Pride donated £163 towards The Fire Fighters Charity, following the vandalism to the station’s pride flag last year.  

Miss Riley said: “All in all it was an incredible sell-out weekend, which just goes to show there is huge demand for greater LGBTQ+ support in Bicester and the surrounding villages.

“A huge thank you to the Bicester Pride committee and the landlords of The Nightingale.

“Thank you to Bicester Town Council, Cherwell District Council and Bicester Village for supporting this year’s pride, too.”


Read more from this author

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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