IT PROMISES to be the biggest Pride festival Galway has yet seen, and there are only a few days to go before the Rainbow Pride flag is raised in Eyre Square for the festival's opening ceremony.
The 2016 Galway Pride Festival runs from Monday August 15 to Sunday 21, and begins with the flag raising, followed by the official launch party at the Harbour Hotel at 8pm. Admission is free, as are the canapés. There will also be a raffle with prizes.
The festival will feature education and information evenings on mental health, coming out, and HIV+. “It’s great that we can come together and celebrate all things LGBT+” said Rob Partridge, one of the organisers of the mental health day, “while we’ve got everyone’s attention let’s talk about the mental health of the LGBT+ community as well, because it’s good to talk.” It’s Good To Talk is one of the new campaigns launched by the National LGBT Helpline which is co-sponsoring the event with OutWest, a west of Ireland LGBT+ support group.
Wednesday 17 sees talks from Pat Hagarty of the West Sligo Family Resource Centre and Elena Vaughan from the HIV Stigma Study. Finding The Words will look at coming out and how parents can support a recently out child. The HIV Stigma Update will discuss the difference between being HIV+ and being ‘undetectable’.
On Thursday 18 there will be a BTQIA+ Tea Party in The Secret Garden. All are welcome to attend to make new friends and hear a talk about reproductive rights and the LGBT+ community. Friday 19 sees the Pride Comedy Night at The Loft. Hosted by Martin Ward, there will be stand-up from Pat McDonnell, Joe Dowling, and Katherine Lynch, followed by a DTF Club Night until 2.30am.
The Pride parade takes place on Saturday 20, starting at 2pm from City Hall, College Road, and led by this year's Grand Marshal James Patrice, Ireland's leading SnapChatter, who is also a presenter and fashionisto. The parade will make its way to the Spanish Arch where there will be a family fun day with stalls and entertainment. In the evening, the Black Box will host the Block Party.