NORTHERN Pride will go ahead this year – with a full day of events taking place virtually.

Organisers of the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community – which regularly attracts tens of thousands of visitors to Newcastle – had to postpone this year’s UK Pride event following the outbreak of Covid-19.

But on the day marking the beginning of Pride Month yesterday, the Northern Pride committee announced its plans for the celebration to be marked, with a packed programme taking place on July 18 across Facebook and YouTube.

At the heart of the event will be a “virtual march” where people are being encouraged to send in images or videos of past Pride events they have attended.

These will then be edited together to create a Pride march which people will be able to watch on the day.

The march will be part of a full day of entertainment and education which can be viewed on social media platforms, covering all of the various aspects which would be part of a Pride celebration.

That includes performances on the main stage and from Curious Arts and Be Scene, plus content from all of the festival zones – health and wellbeing, family and youth and sport.

The event will end with a virtual candlelit vigil, followed by an official after party.

Chair of Northern Pride, Ste Dunn, said the organising committee felt it was important to still mark Pride in some way.

“We have taken the decision to create Northern Pride Online so even if we can’t meet in person, we can still all be together in spirit” he said.

“And we want as may people as possible to take part in the march. If they don’t have images or videos from previous Prides, then they can just dress up in their Pride best and take a picture which we can use.”

The event is being organised around a number of key themes, the first of which is unity which Ste sees as at the heart of what Pride is about.

“Our festival every year is a chance for people to get together with family and friends,” he said.

“We come together to celebrate, remember and unite. With the challenges of Covid-19, Pride festivals and events across the globe are cancelled and postponed. While we are separated, we now more than ever need to be united.”

Anyone who would like to contribute an image of video for the virtual march should send them to prideonline@npride.org.uk or visit www.northern-pride.com/prideonline.