PRIDE returns to Oxford today for the annual parade through the city.

UPDATE - Rainbow river dances through city for sun-filled Oxford Pride 2019

The 'celebration of lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex and queer life' is expected to attract thousands of people during the day, in an expanded offering to the city.

Oxford Mail: The Oxfordshire Drag Collective at the 2018 Pride event. Picture: Andrew WalmsleyThe Oxfordshire Drag Collective at the 2018 Pride event. Picture: Andrew Walmsley


It's looking like a sunny day in Oxford, with temperatures hovering around 24C during the afternoon.

With warm weather forecast, a number of events, countless live performers and two stages will be on offer around the city centre.


The main event is the midday parade – beginning in Radcliffe Square and expected to last an hour – which is followed by a variety of live entertainment.

Oxford Mail:

The end of the march route, in red, with the stages in the city centre in blue. Picture: Oxford Pride

Community and commercial market stalls and food traders will also be out in force.

Dancing and fancy dress can be expected in the streets with the party continuing well into the evening and on into Sunday morning.

IN PICTURES: Kaleidoscope of colour for Oxford Pride 2018


Director Mazz Image said: "We are very excited to be welcoming everybody from the community in Oxford to celebrate diversity and equality as we march through the city with flags flying.

"This is the 16th anniversary of Oxford Pride and something new for this year is that we have expanded the events site from the Castle Quarter main stage to include Leiden Square in the Westgate with a new community stage for an afternoon of celebrations."

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The Great Western Rail (GWR) Main Stage, in the Castle Quarter, will entertain revellers from noon to 6pm with the help of hosts Dickie Graylin and Lady B. Oxford Pride Chair Debbie Brixey praised GWR and said the company's support helped keep the event free.

Westgate's new Community Stage, in Leiden Square, kicks off an hour later, before rowdier events begin in Paradise Street – where there will be DJs and dancing from 1pm to 10pm – before the official after-party at Plush, from 10pm.

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Rainbow flags will again be flying in the city, 16 years after Oxford's first Pride event in Oxpens Fields.

That followed a Spring bank holiday celebration in 2002, when Oxfords’ two gay pubs at the time, the Jolly Farmers and Castle Tavern, held a street party on Paradise Street with barbecues, games and entertainment.

When far more people turned up than expected it sparked a Pride event in Oxford the following year.

The 2008 Oxford Pride included the first parade, before it relocated to the city centre in 2015.

Oxford Mail:

This year's organisers have stressed that participants should respect everyone's identities to maximise enjoyment.