Doncaster will celebrate pride despite the challenges that Covid-19 has brought this year
The LGBTQIA+ community will take over Doncaster town centre to celebrate pride this weekend.
This year there is not just one day celebrating pride here in Doncaster but a whole week.
August 2 to 7 has been dedicated to the LGBTQIA+ community with events running in local businesses all week long.
Jenny Dewsnap, Doncaster Pride organiser, said: “We made the decision in January to not have a big festival.
“The Covid-19 figures were just too uncertain.
“But at the same time we didn’t want to do another completely online pride like we did last year.
“We put out a plea for the good people of Doncaster to help us do something a bit different this year and they came out in droves.”
Instead of the usual pride festival this year there will be eight mini prides all held in Doncaster venues - acts that would usually appear on stage will be performing in pubs and cafes.
The Little Theatre will be screening two LGTBQIA+ films, WOW Burger has created a pride milkshake with £1 from every shake being donated to Doncaster Pride, The Glass Strawberry has a Rainbow Eggs dish, Bake Battle and Roll are hosting a quiz night and The Olde Castle Hotel is holding a bottomless brunch event.
There will be a Hawaiin Luau at The Gallery Show Bar, the popular GAY-CB will be returning, there will be a beer, cheese and cider festival hosted by Doncaster Brewery and Drag Story Time and the Danum Gallery.
Meadow Hall has even lit up their entire shopping centre with a rainbow flag to support Doncaster Pride this week.
“It feels like Doncaster has opened its arms up to us and we have been overwhelmed by the response,” Jenny said.
“It feels like a major milestone to me.
“For years we had to bang on doors and persuade people to support pride or be sponsors.
“I was met with so many closed doors and blind alleyways.
“But this year we’ve had businesses coming to us to ask if they can get involved.
“Doncaster has opened its arms and wrapped us in a warm hug.
“It feels like the town is saying ‘let’s do this together’ and we hope that this community spirit continues for years to come.”
Pride is not only a celebration but a protest and Doncaster Pride wants to highlight the history as well as promote education.
“For 365 days of the year we are existing in a largely heterosexual society,” she said.
“Being gay is still illegal in some countries around the world and punishable by death in some of those places.
“Yes we want to celebrate pride but we also want to educate people on gay history and culture.”
Jenny is keen to highlight how Covid-19 has affected the LGBTQIA+ community.
“Coming out of Covid-19 many gay people have not had the support of their peers,” Jenny said.
“Due to restrictions and isolation both the old and young within the community have struggled.
“Now is the time for them to come back together and find those support networks again.”
You can find out more information about Doncaster Pride here.