THOUSANDS took to the streets of Cork over the weekend, decked out in rainbow colours, as Cork Pride culminated in its flagship parade and after party event on Sunday.
Clive Davis, chair of Cork Pride, said the day was “absolutely and utterly amazing” with a turnout that “felt like the biggest crowd we’ve ever had”.
Sunday’s Pride parade was led by Cork’s LGBT+ community, as the colourful crowd made their way down to the after party venue at the Port of Cork, where the afternoon’s entertainment included Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud, and Eurovision’s Brooke Scullion.
“The energy, the excitement, the anticipation — it was just absolutely incredible, I was blown away,” said Mr Davis.
“When we used to have the after party on Grand Parade, you’d be looking down Grand Parade and think ‘Oh, my God, look at the crowd’. On the stage in the Port of Cork, looking down at the sea and the blue sky and the oceans of people, it was just incredible,” he said.
He added that even superstars Nadine and Brooke were blown away by the Cork crowds.
“I don’t think they expected how good it was going to be. They just expected a provincial Pride, but we are the biggest regional pride outside of Dublin. I think it blew an awful lot of people away,” he said.
Mr Davis said there was a feeling of being “embraced” by Cork, as there wasn’t a hint of negativity throughout the celebrations.
He added that the pressure is on to make 2023’s Pride celebrations even better than this year.
“We’re already planning who is going to headline next year, and we will be booking them in the next couple of weeks. We’re ready to put on an amazing Pride for 2023.
“Everyone has said to us, ‘what are you going to do? You can’t get better than this’ — but I think that is what we’re going to do,” he said.
Sunday’s parade featured a spectacular 75-metre-long rainbow flag snaking through the streets of Cork. The flag isn’t the only record-setting rainbow in Cork Pride, as rainbow crossings unveiled on Patrick’s Street last week are the only ones in the country to feature the progressive chevron, representing people of colour, transgender, and intersex identities.
Siobhán O’Dowd, chair of the Cork City LGBT InterAgency Group said they were delighted to help bring the crossings to Cork’s main thoroughfare, and reflected on highlights of the week leading up to the parade.
“When we think of Pride we often think of the Parade. We were delighted as an InterAgency group to partner with Pride to bring the rainbow crossings to Patrick Street. Pride also held a really informative conference on Pride at Work, with some really strong contributors. It was really great to have Pride in communities too… a number of projects got a visit from Heels on Wheels, which was great fun!” she said.
“Well done to all in Cork Pride for a great and diverse week across the city,” she added.