Updated: Monday, 20th November 2017 @ 5:34pm

Manchester gets ready to show its Pride for Big Weekend

Manchester gets ready to show its Pride for Big Weekend

| By MM staff

Manchester Pride’s Big Weekend kicks off today with a programme of stars so ram-packed Jeremy Corbyn would probably have to sit on the floor!

Will Young, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Fleur East, Heather Small and Tulisa are just some of the huge names which are set to entertain the tens of thousands of people from across Europe expected to flock to Manchester this weekend.

As well as the fantastic line-up of musical entertainment on offer across a number of stages and venues, the colourful Pride Parade will take place tomorrow.

The Manchester Pride Parade is one of the main highlights of The Big Weekend, bringing together over 3000 people from local community groups, charities and LGBT networks, marching through the city together in support of LGBT equality in front of tens of thousands of spectators.

The theme of this year’s Parade is ‘Once upon a time…’ so expect a nostalgic look back at years gone by and how Manchester has helped shaped equal rights for the LGBT community.

As ever the floats and those marching will provide a colourful spectacle not to be missed!

The Parade is free to attend and starts at 1pm from Liverpool Road.

And the Big Weekend culminates with the moving Candlelit Vigil in which Sackville Gardens is turned into a sea of flickering candles as people take a minute to remember those we’ve lost to the HIV virus and join together to fight the epidemic worldwide and the stigma that still exists.

The Candlelit Vigil is free to attend. Sackville Gardens has limited capacities so it is recommend that people arrive from 8:15pm ahead of vigil beginning at 9.15pm.

Plenty of Manchester institutions are already getting in the mood for Pride and a number have some very special offers.

Metrolink customers can now ride with Pride on one of the specially branded 'rainbow trams' that are running across the network.

Metrolink is once again sponsoring Manchester Pride and giving Pride pledge band holders free city centre tram travel and, to further show its support for the LGBT community, some of its iconic fleet is now awash with the colours of the rainbow.

From the first tram on Friday 26 August to the last service on Monday 29 August, all Pride wristband wearers can travel by tram, free of charge, between participating ‘City Zone’ stops, including Deansgate-Castlefield, Market Street, Shudehill, Piccadilly Gardens and Piccadilly.

Extra staff will be at city centre stops over The Big Weekend to help customers and information will be posted at City Zone stops to make it clear where Pride wristband wearers can travel to and from for free.

Tickets are still available and for more information about The Big Weekend click here.