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The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery and Spectrum Inclusion will host Rossendale’s first pride event in July.

The 20th of July will see Rossendale’s first ever pride event take place in Whitaker Park to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community: Pride in the Park.

Running 11am – 3pm, the free event will be hosted in collaboration between The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery and Spectrum Inclusion, and will offer a diverse display of family craft activities and performances throughout the day.

Activities include performances by Bacups’ Bosom Buddies (Semi Finalists on Britain’s Got Talent 2013), Ross Dale the King (Rossendale’s Drag King), Burnley Youth Zone and Queer poetry reading by Paul Jenkins (artist).

Rossendale Valley’s very own, all-inclusive, and volunteer lead community radio station, 104.7 Rossendale Radio, will also be there, providing the PA with lots of great music and entertainment on the day too. 

Attendees will also have the opportunity to speak to dedicated LGBTQIA+ groups who will hold stalls at the event, ready to share experiences, support and information to those who need it.

Organisations who will be in attendance include: Spectrum Inclusion, Lancs LGBT, The Other World, Connect Through, Incredible Edible and The Proud Trust, as well as many more.

The event at The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery will come to a close with a parade through Whitaker Park at 2:30PM.

Spectrum Inclusion will continue the celebrations into the evening across Bacup and Rawtenstall (please follow the Spectrum Inclusion Facebook page for further information regarding evening activities).

Census 2021 showed places in Lancashire to have some of the lowest representation of LGBTQIA+ in the country.

Blackburn and Darwen (2.1%), Ribble Valley (1.6%) and Pendle (2.1%) have some of the lowest numbers of people aged 16 and over identifying as LGBTQIA+, with Rossendale narrowly above that with 2.5%.

Director of Spectrum Inclusion, Jack Riggs, said: “People have told us [Spectrum Inclusion] that they are afraid to walk down the street holding the hand of the person they love, and by celebrating Pride, we can show them they don’t have to be. We want to provide a space for the LGBTQIA+ community to be able to express themselves and to celebrate our diversity.”

Gaynor Seville, Creative Director at The Whitaker said: “Since our groundbreaking exhibition Wink Wink last year, which showcased one of the most important group shows nationally of work by LGBTQIA+ artists, we have firmly articulated our commitment to and support of this valued community.”

“We have continued to work with some of the artists from this exhibition, and also The Sunday Boys, gay men’s choir, ensuring our programme and the artists we work with continue to reflect our entire community.  We are very proud to be working on the first ever Pride for Rossendale with Spectrum Inclusion.”

Pride In The Park is going ahead thanks to funding from Rossendale Borough Council.  

Spectrum Inclusion is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive space for individuals who identify as part of the LQBTQA+ community in Rossendale. Their main aim is to support and connect people who may be experiencing discrimination, social isolation, or any other form of inequality that is often associated with the community.

In April, The Whitaker Museum and Art Gallery was officially granted allyship status by Spectrum Inclusion, by becoming a recognised official safe space for those within the LGBTQIA+ community.

Rossendale’s first Pride event will show continued support and advocacy to the LGBTQIA+ community.

To prepare for Rossendale’s first pride event, The Whitaker is also hosting a ‘Family Antics’ craft event on Saturday 6th July. This is for those with young people aged 4+ to come along and create bunting, decorations and other rainbow crafts.

For more information, head to What’s On at www.thewhitaker.org