A DRAG race will kickstart this year’s Oxford Pride festival.

And festival organisers have urged friends and family to attend the festival to show their support for loved ones who have come out.

The festival, which runs from June 3 to June 12, will feature artistic and cultural events at venues throughout the city.

And it will be preceded by a sponsored drag race for men in Cornmarket Street on May 28. It is hoped the event will raise vital cash for the festival.

The festival will culminate with the ninth annual Oxford Pride parade on June 11.

It will begin at noon and will run from St Michael at the Northgate Church, Cornmarket Street, to Oxpens Field.

At Oxpens Fields there will be fairground rides, entertainment and a beer tent for all the community to enjoy.

Cheryl Briggs, chairman of the Oxford Pride group, said: “It is not one of the biggest prides, but it is totally inclusive.

“It is quite nice because it walks through Oxford, which is a lovely city.

“And it is small, which makes it more friendly.”

The theme of this year’s Oxford Pride is Let’s Get Brave Together, with a focus on friends and family supporting people who have come out.

Spokesman David Simons said: “Some people might want to come to the festival but might be nervous about coming out.

“If they want to come out they will have support from businesses and individuals.”

“It is not just about the individual who comes out, it is also about their friends and family. It is an open community.”

Ms Briggs said: “We get people of all ages and from all over the country coming to the festival.”

The Jolly Farmers, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community pub on Paradise Street, will host a dog show on June 5 in aid of the fundraising effort.

For information, visit oxfordpride.org.uk


  • Friday, June 3, 9am-onwards, Art Exhibition Brave New World – Oxford Town Hall
  • Friday, June 3, 9pm-4am, Launch Party – The Plush Lounge
  • Saturday, June 4, 8pm-2am, Castle Tavern Birthday Party – Castle Tavern
  • Sunday, June 5, 3pm-5pm, Blessings for Everyone – St Columba’s United Reformed Church
  • Monday, June 6, 7pm, Oxford LGBT Book Group – The Old Jam Factory
  • Monday, June 6, 7pm-2am, Pride Live!/ICON Club launch – O2 Academy
  • Thursday, June 9, 8.30pm, Karaoke @ The Castle – Castle Tavern
  • Saturday, June 11, 7pm, Film, Love is the Devil: Study for a Portrait of Francis Bacon – Modern Art Oxford
  • Sunday, June 12, 1pm, Post-pride Sunday Roast – Jolly Farmers