THOUSANDS of people have turned out for an annual celebration of the LGBT+ community in County Durham.

The streets of Durham city were awash with rainbow flags, banners and supporters of Durham Pride.

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Led by a specially decorated Durham Police van bearing bunting which read “love is love”, the 3,000 strong parade included deputy chief constable Jo Farrell, new Durham County Council chairwoman Katie Corrigan and outgoing mayor John Lethbridge as well as drag queens, stilt walkers dressed as brightly coloured butterflies and a host of Disney characters in rainbow outfits.

Brass bands and a band of female drummers provided music for the parade, while tunes from the likes of Ariana Grande and Gloria Gaynor also set the tone for the event. 

There were representatives from communities across the county, including Scout groups, churches and university students, while Durham Cathedral carried a banner for the first time.

The Northern Echo:

While many were out to have a good time, others carried banners with more serious messages, reminding onlookers about issues including transgender rights, hate crime, suicide rates and sex education.

Following the parade, thousands more joined in the festivities at The Sands, which included a fun fair and live music.

The event was introduced by County Durham drag act Tess Tickle and was headlined by singer Sonique.

Speakers at the event included Ms Farrell and North West Durham MP Laura Pidcock.

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