by Simon Cook
Canterbury Pride says an awful lot about Canterbury.
In just a few short years, it’s become part of the city’s calendar. It’s now the biggest Pride in Kent which is a fantastic achievement.
Thousands of people are expected this weekend – both from our district and much further afield. It’s an event that’s a great ambassador for our wonderful city.
There are so many reasons why it’s become so successful.
There are a huge number of volunteers who give up their time on the day helping it all run smoothly.
The organisers work tirelessly all through the year to put on such a large event – now attracting a fabulous array of performances.
And it has a huge buy in from the community – from the businesses that support Pride to all the residents who will throng the Dane John on Saturday.
The very best events grow organically from the ground up and this is very much one of them.
But the most important reason is that it’s fun.
It’s no surprise that one of the iconic Pride images is the Lord Mayor dancing down the High Street with a six foot drag queen!
Last year I went with my family and we had a great time with my daughter making the largest flowery headband I’ve ever seen! All around us were people soaking up the sunshine, the music and just enjoying themselves.
This year, I think they’ve designed the music just for me with S Club and Abbalicious – I’ll do my best not to inflict my dancing on everyone!
But Pride has a serious side as well.
It’s a statement that Canterbury is an accepting and tolerant city. That prejudice is challenged and people celebrated for who they are. And what better message is there for Canterbury to put out to the world?
Cllr Simon Cook has been leader of Canterbury City Council since 2015. He represents the Nailbourne ward and lives in Bridge.