THE party may be far from over for some but here's a look back at today's sun-filled Oxford Pride 2019.

A rainbow river danced its way through the city as thousands of revellers came together to celebrate diversity.

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Oxford Pride, now in its 16th year, was 'bigger and better' than ever, with more music stages and high temperatures pulling in the crowds for the annual event dedicated to 'lesbian, gay, bi, trans, intersex and queer life in Oxfordshire'.

Oxford Mail:

Starting in Radcliffe Square at midday an explosion of colours and music spilled down Broad Street with creative costumes and banners even including a giant puppet of ‘LGBT Jesus’ who shook hands with onlookers.

IN PICTURES: Kaleidoscope of colour for Oxford Pride 2018

The procession continued through the city centre led by the infectious beat of Oxford’s Sol Samba band towards the Westgate with revellers ending in the shopping centre’s Leiden Square.

Oxford Mail:

There a new comunity stage was hosted by drag artist Patriarchie and included performances by Out Of The Blue, The Oxford Belles, Simon Batsman and Oxfordshire Drag Collective, as well as stalls from local groups.

The Great Western Rail (GWR) Main Stage, meanwhile, in the Castle Quarter, entertained people from noon to 6pm and Paradise Street will have DJs and dancing until 10pm – before the official after party at nightclub Plush.

Oxford Mail:

There was something for all ages, with nine-year-old newcomer Demi Patterson, entering into the spirit of the colourful event by donning glittery face paint and a rainbow headband.

She said: "It's about celebrating being different. It's amazing."

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This year's theme was #holdtight and Oxford Pride chair Debbie Bixley explained in the festival's brochure: "Our Festival and events aim to encourage everyone to hold tight to those that they love and celebrate the good things we have accomplished so far."

Oxford Mail:
Oxford’s first Pride event was held in Oxpens Fields and 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.

Oxford Mail:

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

Dara Parsons, from Abingdon, was at that inaugural event, and said the change to now was ‘incredible’.

She added: “There were about 200 people in a field and people looked at you a bit funny but now everybody is so welcoming and friendly.

Oxford Mail:

“In a way it was nice to have everything in one place whereas now you have to move around to see everything but it feels a real part of the community and is bigger and better than ever."

Parade day is the centrepiece of an entire month of events for the Oxford Pride Festival, which started on May 17 and will continue until Sunday.

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Oxford Pride 2019

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