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HomeEntertainmentPride Ashford 2024: What You Need To Know

Pride Ashford 2024: What You Need To Know

Ashford will host its first LGBTQ+ pride event, which promises to “awash Ashford with colours and unity”.

Samantha Griffin, 48, Radio Ashford Presenter, and Heather Hayward, 46, Cabinet Member for Performance and Direction at Ashford Borough Council, have organised Pride Ashford, an event celebrating the town and the LGBTQ+ community.

The main event will be held on Saturday, 22nd June, in Ashford town centre from 10 am until 11 pm, but two additional events will also be held the following day.

So, here’s what you need to know.

10 am – 2 pm: Craftship Pride Craft Workshops, Made in Ashford

To start the celebrations, The Craftship — a creative hub hosted by Made in Ashford — will offer various pride-themed workshops throughout the day, including a free ‘Fabulous Fan Creating’ workshop and a ‘Pride Ashford Costume Making Session’, with the latter having a recommended price of £8.

10 am – 2 pm: Makers Market, Park Mall

Pride Ashford will have a makers market, which will include an assortment of food stalls and unique creations from local LGBTQ+ individuals.

11 am – 3 pm: Event Performances, Ashford Bandstand

Pride Ashford will feature a diverse range of local talent, including performances from Rock Paper Scissors, The Ant Lewis Trio, Robin Mack, and Liv2Dance, hosted by drag artist Betty Late’N Never.

Robin Mack, 18, said: “I’m honoured to perform at Ashford’s first pride event.”

“To be openly celebrating the LGBTQ+ community is a testament to the amazing progress our town has made.”

“I’m very much looking forward to the live music and events and can’t wait to see how Pride Ashford will grow in the future,” they added.

Furthermore, local band Whiskey & Wine will perform their latest single, ‘Free,’ the official single for Pride Ashford.

3 pm – 4 pm: Parade, Ashford Bandstand to Dover Place

Everyone will be invited to march with the parade and wave their fans in the air as Pride Ashford makes its way from the Ashford Bandstand towards Dover Place.

If you choose to join the parade, organisers ask that you obtain a coloured wristband from a volunteer, as the team will call the colours to join the parade lineup.

4 pm – 11 pm: Pride After-Party, Coachworks

Coachworks will be hosting the official after-party for Pride Ashford.

The event will feature an outside stage in Dover Place, with performers such as Reya Sun, Ciggy Mons, Phat Gandalf and Whiskey & Wine, hosted by drag artist Andrey Titstick.

Furthermore, it will also include twelve stalls featuring food vendors, charities and local businesses.

Steve Sitton, 34, owner of Coachworks, said: “It’s an absolute privilege to be part of Ashford’s first pride event.”

“Coachworks has always been an inclusive environment, and we always strive to make individuals feel comfortable no matter their background,” he added.

Despite Pride Ashford being a family-friendly event, organisers have advised that entertainment after 9 pm may only be appropriate for adults.

11 pm – Onwards: Cameo After, After Party, Cameo Ashford

As Pride Ashford has partnered with Cameo Ashford, if you wish to continue the celebrations, you can enter Cameo for free before 11:30 pm if you have a Pride Ashford wristband.

Wristbands will be available via volunteers at the Coachworks after-party.

Safe Spaces and Accessibility:

The two safe spaces available during the main event will be at One You Kent and the Ashford Street Pastors.

If you require a safe space, Marshalls can guide you towards your nearest one.

An additional safe space will also be available at the after-party at Coachworks.

Furthermore, measures have been put in place for those who require accessibility adjustments; however, organisers ask that you contact them if you have specific requirements.

Additional Events:

Harpers Cafe and Coachworks will host two events in partnership with Pride Ashford the following day.

Harpers Cafe will host Pride Ashford’s ‘Picnic In The Park’ from 11 am until 3 pm.

The event will feature various activities, such as a Rainbow Bouncy Castle and a Hula Hoop Workshop with Future Dance Academy.

Additionally, several performances will take place, such as a dance demo from All Star Performers, a trapeze act from Simia Circus and a live performance by P!nk-!ish — a P!nk tribute artist — from 12:30 pm until 1:30 pm.

Emma Ellis-Nash, 44, events organiser at Harpers Cafe, said: “With our space in the park and the success of our previous events, the team and I were very eager to contribute towards Pride Ashford.”

“At Harpers Cafe, our ethos is all about welcoming the community, so if there’s anything we can do to bring Ashford together, we will always be behind it,” she added.

Coachworks will also host a further celebration on the same day from 13:30 until 17:30, which will include street food, refreshments, and a live DJ.

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