Tipperary Clonmel Pride kicked off yesterday Wednesday, August 26 with the Mayor of the Clonmel Borough District, Siobhán Ambrose raising the LGBT+ Rainbow Pride flag at LIT Clonmel college. Following this, both in-person and digital events will commence this weekend in order to celebrate the occasion.
Kicking off on Saturday August 29, LGBTI+ Health South Tipperary will host a “coffee and chat” at Quigleys Bakery Clonmel from 11AM to 12PM where the Pride committee will be there to provide LGBT+ information and support. Attendees will also be able to pick up pride stickers as well as vouchers for rainbow cupcakes at Quigleys.
There will be an opportunity for anyone in attendance to have their picture taken with the Garda Pride car, before a rainbow flag is also raised at the Clonmel Garda Station. Saturday will end back at Quigleys Bakery with the cutting of the Tipperary Clonmel Pride rainbow cake at 4 PM.
Moving onto Sunday the festivities will go digital as Tipperary Clonmel Pride host their online Pride Parade with a lineup of local talent to keep everyone entertained from the safety of their own homes. The program will kick off at 3PM on Tipperary’s Clonmel Community Pride official Facebook page with a message from the pride committee and chairperson before performances by local singers.
Jamie Kavanagh, Aimee O’Brien and Uproar Rock Choir will all feature on the lineup, followed by pride DJ Nigel Byrne who will be playing music on Facebook live throughout the day also.
While a lot of Pride celebrations worldwide have had to be cancelled altogether due to the coronavirus pandemic many have chosen to adapt to the new restrictions and guidelines where at all possible.
Speaking about this year’s festival, chairperson of Tipperary Clonmel Pride Gerard Sweetman said while the decision to cancel the original Pride Festival, they are looking forward to the virtual pride:
“This year would have been Clonmel First pride but due to COVID-19, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to cancel. The care and wellbeing of our committee and the community comes first in everything we do.
“We had been planning since December 2019 with a dedicated voluntary committee working hard to host a pride for everyone.
“We then saw that other pride groups were having online parades so we decided to hold a virtual pride on Sunday, August 30 with messages, pictures and videos from local and national organisations, the LGBT+ community and businesses.
“This will go out on our Facebook page Tipperary Clonmel Community Pride at 3pm on August 30 with messages from our chair and committee first and performances from local singers and choir and a DJ to end our parade.”
“The support from local council Garda businesses and community has been amazing with bunting up across the town of Clonmel and flags been raised at the college. The post office and local businesses are getting involved by having their windows all colours of rainbow pride and supporting pride.
“This has given us the stepping stone for 2021 in which we hope to have our first live pride and events with the support of all the community it will be amazing.
“Thank you to everyone that has helped and supported us this year for our first pride and although it’s a bit different this year we hope you all enjoy our pride and remember to be happy be kind.”
Earlier in the summer, we saw an amazing array of events and performances, many of which could be enjoyed at home with the launch of Dublin Digital Pride. Similarly, Tipperary Clonmel Pride’s Sunday performances will all be available to view online and as for Saturday, the committee have ensured that all events will have social distance measures in place and all committee members will be wearing appropriate face coverings in order to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
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