THOUSANDS are expected to take to the streets of York on Saturday to celebrate LGBT pride in the city.

Last year, more than 10,000 people attended the event which wowed audiences with headline sets from Cleopatra and the iconic Cheeky Girls.

However, the organisers are hoping that this year’s headliners, Pop Idol alum Gareth Gates and 90s dance icon Rozalla can help set an even bigger record.

The parade will begin at 11.45am from York Minster and will culminate at Knavesmire for an afternoon of live music, food, drink, and activities.

Meanwhile, the Coppergate Centre’s Brollywalk now features a host of rainbow umbrellas hanging overhead to mark the celebrations.

The 36 floral umbrellas, which first graced the street in May, has now been replaced with multi-coloured rainbow brollies to celebrate Pride weekend.

More than 1,000 students from every secondary school in York, Selby, Tadcaster and Malton are expected to attend the beginning of the parade in order to celebrate LGBT equality and inclusivity.

This follows the success of 2017 when York Pride became the first Pride in the world to have all of its schools take part in the Parade.

Greg Stephenson, chairman of York Pride, said: “It is so fantastic to see the continuing support from schools for York Pride and the values it represents.

"As many will be aware, the last few months have seen a lot of controversial and inflammatory remarks made about teaching about LGBT issues in schools, and this kind of support from York and the surrounding areas is really touching to see.

"It shows that no matter what is put out on social media and in the tabloids, people from across all spectrums are committed to equality and diversity, and a proud to teach tolerance and acceptance.”

More than 20 North Yorkshire Police officers and staff will be donning their rainbow flags and teaming up with representatives from Yorkshire Ambulance Service and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to take part in the event.

As well as taking part in the Parade, North Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Lisa Winward will be officially launching the force’s LGBT+ Ally Programme on the day which aims to create a safe and inclusive environment for staff and officers of all sexual identities and genders.

Sergeant Sandy Scott is looking forward to Saturday’s event and said: “This will be the third year we’ve taken part in York Pride which is a fantastic opportunity to celebrate inclusivity and diversity within the force as well as highlighting our vibrant and motivated LGBT + network.

“We’re proud to have so many police officers and staff in the parade this year, all of whom are proud to be marching as part of our incredible LGBT+ community or as amazing and supportive allies. "North Yorkshire Police welcomes and supports everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – whether staff and officers or the communities we serve."