Grassington, the picturesque village renowned for its charm and community spirit, is gearing up to host its very first Pride event this July. Organisers are excited to announce this landmark occasion that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and the vibrant spirit of the Dales community.
The event is being run by a passionate local group aged 24-57, all of whom reside in the village. Their deep connection to Grassington has fuelled their determination to make this Pride event a resounding success, showcasing the true essence of their close-knit community.
This momentous event has been made possible through remarkable fundraising efforts and the generous support of local businesses, including Grassington-based DSMC. Charlie Bayston, Managing Director for DSMC, expressed their admiration, saying: "I’m sure the event will not only be really good fun for the whole village and anyone visiting, but we think celebrating equality and diversity as a community has a much bigger message and impact than people often consciously realise. Events like this and the volunteers behind them make us proud to live where we do, and just making a donation doesn’t feel like enough!"
Grassington, despite its small size, with a population of only 1017, is proudly embracing its own vibrant Pride celebration. This event exemplifies the village's unwavering commitment to fostering an inclusive and accepting community that values every individual.
Joel Summerscales, Chairperson of the Pride in the Dales Committee, shared his personal journey, stating: "Having struggled with my own sexuality for many years, I finally found the courage to 'come out' as Gay when I was 29. Living in the Dales, I was worried about how people would react to my news. The response I received from family, friends, neighbours, and colleagues was absolutely amazing. It gave me the strength to be who I had always wanted to be."
Summerscales continued, "Starting Pride in the Dales has been very close to my heart, and I'm so proud of what we've achieved so far. I'm surrounded by an amazing team of people who have all worked tirelessly to make this event happen, and I thank them all so much. I hope that by creating Pride in the Dales, we will encourage anyone who may be struggling on their own journey to know that it's okay to be themselves and embrace it. Grassington is a safe, friendly, and diverse village open to everyone, and we look forward to warmly welcoming you."
To kick off the celebrations, the organisers are thrilled to collaborate with local schools, organising on-site workshops that will involve children creating banners and props for the parade. The children will have the exciting opportunity to participate in the parade alongside local businesses, North Yorkshire Police, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and various community organisations and groups.
Throughout the Saturday afternoon, a line-up of captivating performances and activities awaits attendees with bars and pubs around the village each hosting a different performer. Face painting, children's workshops, book readings and village games in the square will offer endless fun for our younger participants. Additionally, there will be a movie showing for everyone to enjoy, and local shops will offer an array of Pride merchandise to commemorate the event.
To cap off the exhilarating day of celebration, an electrifying Evening Pride Party will kick off at 8pm at Grassington Town Hall. Prepare to be dazzled as drag queens from the renowned Bar Pop in Manchester take to the stage, delivering an unforgettable performance that will leave you breathless. Joining them will be the immensely talented Rhaya Sunshine, a beloved icon of Grassington, and the sensational local performer Smashby, who will enchant the audience with their captivating acts. Get ready to dance, sing, and embrace the vibrant energy that fills the air as the community come together for a night of pure exhilaration and Pride.
As the excitement builds, we're all invited to mark our calendars for this monumental Grassington Pride event on Saturday, 29th July 2023: a day filled with joy, inclusivity, and memorable experiences. Join people in The Dales coming together as a united community, embracing equality and diversity with open hearts and open minds.