Manchester Pride


If you like your cowboys sparkly, drunk and slathered in face paint, then Manchester Pride (August 15-25) is the place to lasso them. From this weekend, the city transforms itself into the wild North West for 10 days of parades, music, comedy, theatre, clubbing, a dog show and even a mass civil partnership.

Sophie Ellis Bextor provides the tunes at the climactic Big Weekend festival from August 22, with back-up from Four Poofs and a Piano and pop singers Alphabeat.

And if that all sounds a bit high brow, why not get stuck into It's a Gay Knockout (August 21) or flex your pom poms at Trinity Sports Centre's free cheerleading sessions.

Sustenance for the mind comes courtesy of VADA Community Theatre's Queer `N' Sloshed (a meditation on alcoholism, hosted appropriately enough at the Manto Bar on Canal Street), an exhibition about gay soldiers at the Imperial War Museum North, and a gay heritage trail called Out in the Past.

But let's not forget the intellectual Olympiad that is Mr Gay UK, the finals of which will be held at the Ritz Bar in Whitworth Street on August 22.

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