THE sun is set to shine for Stroud’s first Pride event, which will take place next Sunday in Bank Gardens.

Organiser, John Copley who moved to Stroud with his partner Chris to raise their family, said that next weekend’s picnic would be a celebration of the town’s diversity and inclusive attitude.

Stroud News and Journal:

Chris and John in front of Fourteen Lifestyle in Kendrick Street, Stroud

“My partner Chris and I chose to move to Stroud from Manchester because we loved how welcoming and accepting everyone is here,” John said.

“We were looking for somewhere to bring up our children, and the minute we arrived here we knew this was the right place for us.”

John hopes that next weekend’s picnic will be the first of an annual event which will celebrate the town, and hopes that everyone will join in - regardless of gender or sexual preference.

“Everyone is welcome,” he explained. “It’s about celebrating a special community, and bringing everyone together.”

Stroud News and Journal:

Denise Ballard (pictured with Chris and John), has decorated the window of her shop Fourteen Lifestyle in Kendrick Street in rainbow colours to show her support

Each year dozens of pride events take place nationally to celebrate diversity and highlight the importance of equality for the LGBTQ community.

Organisers of this year’s Stroud pride picnic, kicking off in Bank Gardens in the centre of Stroud at 11am on August, 19, will become part of the national gay pride events next year.

“Next Sunday is about everyone getting together - enjoying a bit of music, dressing colourfully and having fun - but we hope to get an organising committee together for the following year, so the town can take part in gay pride month next June,” John told the SNJ.

Although this year’s event will be low-key the organisers have been ‘touched’ by how the community has come together to support them.

Stroud Town Council has helped with the organisation of the event, and Danny Stevens from the Little George pub in Stroud will be hosting a small bar and organising a few games to entertain children on the day.

Independent businesses across the town are showing their support too, with Fourteen and Made in Stroud in Kendrick Street decorating their windows in the signature gay pride rainbow.

Denise Ballard, owner of Fourteen Lifestyle is also stocking Stroud pride t-shirts ready for the event.

Stroud News and Journal:

Stroud Pride t-shirts are now being sold in Denise's shop in Kendrick Street

Stroud Pride takes place in Bank Gardens, Stroud on Sunday, August 19, from 11am.

Everyone is welcome, entry is free, a bar and some entertainment will be provided, and those coming along are welcome to bring a picnic.

For more information visit the Stroud Pride Facebook page.

Stroud News and Journal:

The picnic on August 19 will celebrate Stroud's diversity and inclusivity