After months of preparations, the first-ever Letterkenny Pride parade took place on Saturday, August 19.
The weather cleared up for the day-long outdoor celebration which included a family fun day of entertainment at An Granán Theatre, followed by a Pride Parade where community groups and businesses marched to show their support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community.
The occasion offered a variety of entertainment that demonstrated the town’s diversity, inclusion and self-expression. Evening activities included drag bingo, a screening of the movie Pride at Century Cinemas, and a selection of musical performances featuring Donegal artist Moya Brennan. After-parties were hosted at The Brewery Bar, McGinley’s Bar, and The Cottage Bar.
Many locals expressed their gratitude for the long-awaited Pride festival. The LGBTQ+ community is gradually becoming more visible in Donegal, and Saturday’s events contributed to a sense of belonging and social connectivity.
I grew up in Letterkenny with a constant desire to leave because I never thought I could be a proud queer person there.
Yesterday, Letterkenny had its first ever Pride parade.
— Iarnród Éireann Brockovich ?️??️⚧️?? (@yascaoimhin) August 20, 2023
This inaugural Pride festival was organised by a team of 10 volunteers and entirely funded through community sponsorship and donations. The events were organised as part of the larger Letterkenny Festival which also included a Soap Box Derby and “Country Sunday” performances.
Letterkenny Pride Chair, Kayleigh Bowery, said the level of support coming from the community and local businesses demonstrates that there has been a demand for such a celebration. The committee said that the purpose of the Pride festival is: “…showing members of the LGBTQ+ community who may feel marginalised that they belong in this town, and in this county.”
The sun ☀️ stayed out – with even a rainbow ? over Letterkenny town today to celebrate! @atu_ie were very proud to be part of the first ever #LetterkennyPride Celebrating equality, diversity & inclusion! pic.twitter.com/lkq9qVNS8g
— ATU Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (@EDI_ATU) August 19, 2023
The committee added: “In particular, we feel there is a huge need to show young LGBTQ+ folks that they do not need to leave their hometown in order to feel welcome. There has been a lot of progress in Donegal in recent years, and we want Letterkenny to continue to be a part of that positive change.”
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