On Friday 12 August Manchester’s workers are set to swap suits for something special as they arrive at offices across the city dressed as Prince Charming, Elsa the Ice Queen, Sleeping Beauty, Peter Pan or maybe even Rumplestiltskin.
The dress down day organised by Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) charity Manchester Pride is inviting Mancunians to show their support and get behind its theme for 2016 – ‘Once Upon a Time.’
From large organisations to small businesses, chief executives to check out staff, anyone can get involved, all they have to do is donate a minimum of £1 towards The Manchester Pride Community Fund.
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, comments; “Whether they come dressed to work as Elsa or another of their favourite fairytale characters, we’re asking businesses and employees to dress-up on their usual dress down day, and all for an important cause. People can dress-up as their favourite character, hold a Mad Hatter’s tea party over lunch, take part in a fairytale themed quiz or a sing-a-long karaoke session to Frozen – whatever their inspiration we just want people to get involved!”
Anyone wanting to get involved can register online.
Manchester Pride will scream and shout about all supporters sharing their pictures and videos via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram plus they have free tickets to The Big Weekend to giveaway as prizes for businesses and employees who go all out with their fairytale fantasies.
Once Upon A Time will also be the theme for The Manchester Pride Parade as the charity this time hopes to turn the streets of Manchester into a fairytale.
The parade, which takes place over August bank holiday weekend as part of The Big Weekend celebration, sees over 3,000 people come together to march and is watched by tens of thousands of people as it snakes through the streets of Manchester city centre.
The Manchester Pride Parade starts on Liverpool Road, passing by the Gay Village before finishing on Whitworth Street. In recent years it has been led by some of the most prominent faces in the LGBT world including Orange Is The New Black actress Lea DeLaria and national treasure Sir Ian McKellen. Plus last year BBC Radio Manchester broadcast live from the parade with transgender radio presenter Stephanie Hirst.
Participants have ranged from charitable organisations such as The George House Trust and Barnardo’s to community sports groups, Manchester Village FC and The Spartans RFC; commercial organisations such as Nando’s, United Utilities and Tesco; local community groups including The Village Bakers, Manchester Frontrunners and businesses from Manchester’s Gay Village such as The New Union and Kiki.
A firm favourite, taking part for six years, is the cast and crew of Coronation Street who always play a huge part in the Manchester Pride The Big Weekend celebrations. 2014 saw new recruit Les Dennis take to the show’s float in a pink tabard, curly wig and pearls as legendary show character Mavis Wilton.
Mark Fletcher, Chief Executive for Manchester Pride, comments; “As we reflect on years gone by in our wonderful City, we recognise many stories, moments, events and occasions that have occurred in order to allow us to reach the level of freedom that our LGBT communities enjoy today. Once upon a time allows us to look back, reflect and plan the next steps for the advancement of LGBT equality.”
Each year floats are entered into The Manchester Pride Parade Awards which are judged on Parade Day by representatives from The Manchester Pride Board of Trustees, The Lord Mayor and Sponsors. Last year’s winners were:
Best Overall Float – Unison
Best Community/Charity Float – LGBT Youth North West
Best Walking Entry – Littleborough Oakenhoof Folk Arts Group
Best Public sector/Services Entry – Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue
Best Individual Costume – The Albert Kennedy Trust
Best Village Licensed Business – On Bar
Organisations wishing to take part can apply online here.