Rainbow flags have been popping up around Letterkenny as the town prepares for its first Pride parade and festival.

Saturday 19th August will see a series of colourful events taking place to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.

The festival was developed by a team of 10 volunteers comprising of members and non members of the LGBTQ+ community, chaired by Kayleigh Bowery.

Looking ahead to the festivities, the committee said: “Pride is about community. It is a magnificent celebration of diversity, a time to bring people together, and of course, a big day of fun. But beyond that, it is about showing members of the LGBTQ+ community who may feel marginalised, that they belong in this town, and in this county. 

“In particular, we feel there is a huge need to show young LGBTQ+ folks that they do not need to leave their hometown in order to feel welcome. There has been a lot of progress seen in Donegal in recent years, and we want Letterkenny to continue to be a part of that positive change.”

The afternoon begins with a family fun day of activities and entertainment outside of An Grianán Theatre at 2.30pm. Following this, a vibrant parade will leave An Grianán at 4.30pm and end at Oliver Plunkett Road.

A full evening of entertainment will then begin at 6pm with drag bingo at the Brewery bar, hosted by the vivacious Shania LaRue, in the shack. There will be a screening of the movie Pride at Century Cinemas at 6.15pm for those who would prefer a more relaxed pride experience.

There will also be an evening of music featuring both up and coming and established local artists such as Without Willow, High Heeled Converse, Millie Greene, Shauna McDaid, George Hoston and world renowned Donegal artist Moya Brennan.

A gig-rig will be positioned outside the library as part of the Letterkenny Festival in conjunction with Letterkenny Pride. Acts that will feature include Arn, The Ephades and Irish singer/songwriter Mundy. 

The evening will come to a close with an after party upstairs in The Brewery Bar from 11pm until late. 

Organisers say that the response from the whole town, to date, has been phenomenally supportive. The festival has been solely funded through sponsorship and donations from local businesses and the wider community. The money donated is going towards insurance, health and safety, equipment rental, entertainment, activity supplies, promotional material and decorations. Committee members are volunteering their time to create the festival, and they say any funds left over after the festival are being donated towards the Donegal Youth Services.

If you would like to support Letterkenny Pride, please show up on the day and join in the fun. To donate, please go to https://gofund.me/f5771c6f.

A full programme of events can be found at https://www.facebook.com/letterkennypride, or by scanning the QR code. 

With the hard work and dedication brought by the Letterkenny Pride committee, LK Pride 23 promises to be an exciting, vibrant and fun day for everyone, and a historic day for Letterkenny as a whole.