'Emotion and goosebumps' - City loud and proud at Norwich Pride 2022

Brooke Skoyles with partner Stacy Dehaan and son River, four at Norwich Pride 2022

Brooke Skoyles with partner Stacy Dehaan and son River, four at Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Maya Derrick

The city is usually associated with yellow and green but it was adorned with all the colours of the rainbow over the weekend, as Norwich's Pride parade made a powerful return after an absence of three years.

Crowds descended on the centre from across the city and beyond, keen to make up for having lost two events to the pandemic.

Thousands of people took part in what was the 14th instalment of Norwich Pride - but only the 12th parade, due to Covid cancellations.

The Norwich Pride parade taking place outside City Hall. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Norwich Pride parade taking place outside City Hall - Credit: Danielle Booden

Estella Griffiths, 28, travelled from Beccles for her first visit to the event, which celebrates the city's  LGBT+ community.

"It's been a real celebration. I can't believe how many people there are.

Estella Griffiths and Christine Logan enjoying Norwich Pride from the market

Estella Griffiths and Christine Logan enjoying Norwich Pride from the market - Credit: Maya Derrick

"This is Norwich all over. Norwich should be a flagship place for pride."

Friend Christine Logan came from her home in West Sussex to join Estella at Pride on her 27th birthday.

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"We're enjoying Pride together," she said.

Norwich Pride 2022. Picture: Danielle Booden

A rainbow flag flies outside City Hall at Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It's so important that there are more places that are becoming accepting when it comes to Pride.

"It's a great celebration."

At City Hall - where the parade kicked off at 1pm before making its way to Chapelfield Gardens - Brooke Skoyles, 28, joining the celebrations with partner Stacy Dehaan and son River, four.

A cute dog spotted at Norwich Pride 2022. Picture: Danielle Booden

A dog spotted celebrating at Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Danielle Booden

"It's really important for our son to see there are lots of families like ours," Brooke said.

Naomi Larke was at Pride with her best friend Katy Tinmouth and her two daughters.

Naomi Larke (right) with best friend Katy Tinmouth and Katy's daugters Erinma, three and four month old Sheryfa

Naomi Larke (right) with best friend Katy Tinmouth and Katy's daugters Erinma, three and four month old Sheryfa - Credit: Maya Derrick

Naomi said: "Even the bus here was a party and lovely to be on. Everyone was dressed up and chatty.

"It's quite emotional being here."

Three-year-old Erinma was having lots of fun at her first pride, blowing on her whistle and was excited to see the roller-skaters.

Police officers enjoying Norwich Pride 2022. Picture: Danielle Booden

Police officers enjoying Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Danielle Booden

Katy added: "It shows that Norwich is a beautiful community.

"It's important for the little ones that they are embraced from as young as possible so they have a better awareness as they're growing up for their generation."

Seventeen-year-old Adam Davison added: "It means a lot to see everyone out at Norwich Pride today.

Adam Davison, 17, at Norwich Pride 2022

Adam Davison, 17, at Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Maya Derrick

"I have goosebumps being here.

"So many people are here, expressing themselves and really getting together.

"It's important for the little ones and the older generation to know what Pride is.

The Norwich Pride parade taking place outside City Hall. Picture: Danielle Booden

Norwich Mature Gay Community at the 2022 Norwich Pride parade outside City Hall - Credit: Danielle Booden

"Norwich Pride is such a great first experience.

"To younger people - just stay true to yourselves."


A GROWING PRIDE

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the first ever Pride march held in the UK.

It took place in London on July 1, 1972, the nearest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall riots of 1969.

Mike Wabe, Norwich Pride and Watton Town Crier, at Norwich Pride 2022. Picture: Danielle Booden

Mike Wabe, Norwich Pride and Watton Town Crier, at Norwich Pride 2022 - Credit: Danielle Booden

These were a series of spontaneous protests by members of New York's gay community in response to a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, which was used by the community.

The riots provided a pivotal moment for the LGBT movement, sparking new campaigns to promote rights and inspiring the gradual growth of Pride events around the world.

The Norwich Pride parade taking place outside City Hall. Picture: Danielle Booden

The Norwich Pride parade taking place outside City Hall - Credit: Danielle Booden

Approximately 2,000 people attended the first London parade. This year's anniversary Pride in the capital attracted an estimated million people, a record crowd.

Norwich's first event took place in 2009 and brought around 3,000 people onto the streets.

This year's attendance is not yet known, but in 2019, the last year before Covid, up to 10,000 thronged the city's streets.