THE annual Chester Pride celebrations take place this Saturday, promising a selection of memorable music stars and a spectacular parade.

The event will launch with the popular parade through the city at noon followed by entertainment and activities at Castle Square from 1pm-7pm including the M&S Bank main stage and three further stages of entertainment.

These are the Glitter Lounge cabaret tent, bands on the Music Is Now Original Music Stage; and acoustic singers on the Chester Live Busking Stage.

In addition there will be a large Health, Life and Wellbeing Zone; a children’s zone; youth zone; older peoples space; marketplace; chill out area; exhibition; fun fair and much more.

Headlining the main music stage will be synth-pop LGBT icon and OBE Marc Almond.

Marc Almond has had a number of solo hits and as part of chart topping duo Soft Cell, including Tainted Love, Say Hello, Wave Goodbye and Torch.

Joining Marc Almond is much-loved Eurovision winner Katrina, formerly of Katrina and the Waves, and X Factor finalist Marcus Collins.

Crowds will be wowed by dazzling drag queens Brenda La Beau and Annabelle Lecter plus tributes to Dolly Parton, Tina Turner (Milli Munro), Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera (Liss Jones).

Also performing will be Local LGBT+ choir The Proud Marys, guitar vocalist Jess Kemp, singer Cat McElroy, Jan George and Brio Leisure.

Chester Pride is a celebration of diversity and support for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender+ community.

As part of the celebrations, Chester’s Eastgate Clock will be illuminated in a continuous loop of rainbow colours from the Pride flag from Friday over the weekend.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Cllr Karen Shore said: “The Eastgate clock is lit with LED technology, so it’s usually quite easy for our street lighting engineers to alter the colours inside the clock face.

"This has taken a bit more work as the colours will be changing and I am grateful to the highways lighting team for their work in making this happen.

“I’m delighted that we are able to support this weekend’s Chester Pride celebrations in such an attention-grabbing location.

“Previously, we have turned the Eastgate Clock face blue for the NHS’ recent birthday, pink for Breast Cancer Awareness week, green for Macmillan Cancer Support and switched it off totally for Earth Hour.”

The lights will change colour every three to five seconds using a radio frequency controller which operates the colour change in each light unit. There are four lights, one for each clock face, using energy-efficient LEDs supplied by a local manufacturer.

Meanwhile, the Friends of the Earth Chester and District will unveil its Litter Monster and promote its #LitterFreeChester campaign.

This is linked to its campaign to reduce single use plastic and promote its #PlasticFreeChester campaign. This initiative aims to encourage businesses to give up three items of single use plastic.

Helen Tandy from Chester FoE said: “Litter and plastic waste isn’t just in our oceans or on our beaches, it’s also in our cities. Help to clean up our great city and please support our campaigns.”

Chester Pride 2018 sponsors include M&S Bank, Cheshire West and Chester Council, Bank of America, Music Is Now, Chester Live, Cheshire Police, Cheshire Fire and Rescue, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Trust, Russell and Russell Solicitors, Barefoot Wine, DTCC, Bristol-Myers Squibb, MBNA, Deva Tuk Tuk, University of Chester, Brio Leisure, Body Positive, and Cheshire Hellcats Roller Derby.

More information about this weekend’s Chester Pride events can be found at