Limerick pride festival kicks off this week

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

RAINBOW flags to celebrate sexual diversity will be flying high over Limerick this week, as the city’s gay pride festival prepares to kick off.

RAINBOW flags to celebrate sexual diversity will be flying high over Limerick this week, as the city’s gay pride festival prepares to kick off.

Thousands of people from around the country are expected to descend on the city for the Limerick Pride festival which runs until September 9.

Star of the X-Factor, singer Johnny Robinson, will be among those joining in the nine days of festivities, as he takes to stage of Dolan’s Warehouse on Saturday, September 8 for the Pride Climax party.

“This is the 12th year of the festival and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. It has grown from a two-day weekend festival to nine days this year, and has become a regional event,” said Cillian Flynn, spokesperson for Limerick Pride.

One of the biggest events of the festival will be the parade and block party on Saturday, September 8, and the grand marshall for the parade, which will leave City Hall at 1.30pm, is Limerick Person of The Year Richard Lynch. The Mr & Ms Gay Limerick competition will be held together for the first time in Bentley’s bar, and applications to enter are still being accepted at press@limerickpride.ie.

The winners will go on to represent Limerick in the national final later this year. While Limerick has taken the Ms Gay Ireland title in the past, the county has yet to claim the Mr Gay Ireland crown and they “are looking for the perfect man to do so.”

Other events include an exhibition called The Beginning of my Girl Life’ by a trans-gender photographer from New York, which is now on display in the Red Ribbon Project offices on Cecil Street.

There will also be a forum on marriage equality this Monday at 8pm in the Absolute Hotel, movie screenings, a comedy night in the Loft venue, a naughty 90s cabaret show, a gay pride céilí (Géilí), as well as HIV and chlamydia testing.

A sexual empowerment workshop for men will be held in the Red Ribbon office at 6.30pm tonight. The Out in UL society will be holding a Secrets Party’ this Tuesday, September 4, in Baker Place, where they’re asking people to send their secrets on a postcards. These will then be displaced anonymously on the wall.

This year’s event is supported by Shannon Development and Failte Ireland, while the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins has also sent his message of support.

See www.limerickpride.ie for full details.