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Chelmsford celebrates Pride 2024 with biggest programme of events yet

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Image credit: Essex Pride.

Pride celebrations return to Chelmsford this month with a bigger programme of events than ever before, including the annual Essex Pride march and festival.

Chelmsford For You will be decorating the city centre with Pride murals and the city council will be flying the Pride flag from Central Park from 21 to 24 June. 

In addition, for the first time Riverside Leisure Centre will be hosting a Pride skate disco and Chelmsford Theatre has pulled together a dedicated programme of LGBTQIA+ shows coming to the city this month.

Check out all the Pride activities taking place throughout June below.

Pride Skate Celebration at Riverside

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Riverside Leisure Centre kicks off Pride Month this week with a Pride Disco Skate Night on Saturday 8 June from 6–7.30pm. Expect a resident DJ and fabulous Pride-themed decorations at the event, which has been organised with Essex Pride and British Ice Skating to celebrate acceptance and inclusion. There’s still time to book tickets at just £5 a head and entry is free for members.

Pride murals across City Centre

Chelmsford For You will be adorning shop windows with Pride murals again throughout June. This year, ten local artists will be designing and painting celebratory and educational murals at varied locations across the city centre.

Chelmsford businesses will also be displaying the well-known ‘Chelmsford For All’ vinyl stickers in shop windows in support of Chelmsford’s LGBTQIA+ community, and Chelmsford For You will be selling ‘Chelmsford For All’ t-shirts to raise money for not-for-profit charity Essex Pride.

Drag Race star Cheryl Hole leads Essex Pride’s third annual march

Essex Pride 2022 (Credit: Essex Pride)
Image credit: Essex Pride.

The Essex Pride march returns for the third consecutive year on Saturday 22 June. This year the march will be led by Essex’s own RuPaul’s Drag Race star, Cheryl Hole.

The march is free for all to join and sets off from Pop World at 11.20am, following an accessible route through the city centre to finish at Central Park – where Essex Pride’s annual festival will take place. Attendees are asked to register in advance on the Essex Pride website and gather on the day at Pop World from 10am.

Central Park Pride festival celebrates love and acceptance  

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A child high-fives a police officer at Essex Pride 2023. Credit Essex Pride.

The Pride march route ends at the entrance of the 2024 Essex Pride Festival, an annual event for all, celebrating love and acceptance.

This year’s festival has two stages with a lineup of artists hosted by Saski, Nina Ambrose, and local drag artist Carrot. Some of the incredible headliners include Claire Richards, Jaymi Hensley, Jordan Gray and Cheddar Gorgeous, plus, there’ll be a Spice Girls tribute band, and Jo Alexander as Dolly Parton.

The silent disco tent also returns this year, along with the family zone which will feature crafts and story time readings throughout the day.

You can get your hands on tickets for this year’s festival on the Essex Pride website.

Committed partygoers can also continue the celebrations into the night with an Official Pride Afterparty at Pop World from 3pm to 5am. Entry is free before 11pm for Essex Pride attendees – simply show your wristband to be admitted.

Essex Pride Chair Garry Ormes says Essex Pride brings communities across the county together to celebrate love and friendship:

“Essex Pride is proud to be returning for its 20th year, to celebrate equality and acceptance. Pride is a time for everyone to join together in love and friendship, to show how far LGBTQ+ rights have come, and how in some places there's still work to be done. Pride is for everyone and, however you identify, I hope you can take some time this June to join us at Essex Pride to celebrate diversity and the ability to be yourself, and to experience the richness and comfort these two qualities bring to our lives”.

Garry Ormes, Essex Pride Chair

Dedicated LGBTQIA+ programme at Chelmsford Theatre

For those looking to make a full weekend of it, Laugh Out Proud comes to Chelmsford Theatre on Friday 21 June at 8pm. The perfect queer night out, Laugh Out Proud is London's new LGBTQIA+ comedy night, featuring the best in established and upcoming acts from the community on the UK circuit.


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It’s part of a brand-new LGBTQIA+ series, ‘Glitz and Glamazons’, at Chelmsford Theatre. Other outstanding LGBTQIA+ shows arriving throughout the year include stand up from Christopher Hall, who tells of his life as a boy who’s a bit girly really, and RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under judge, Rhys Nicholson. There’s also a Barbara Streisand musical tribute, as well as Fanny Galore's Big Bingo Party (limited availability remaining).

After launching for the first time this year, Glitz and Glamazons will remain a permanent home for dazzling drag, queer comedy, and gay icon tribute shows at Chelmsford Theatre. You’ll find everything in one central place, making it quick and easy to book an LGBTQIA+ night out at the theatre.

Check out the full Glitz and Glamazons package on the Chelmsford Theatre website.

LGBTQIA+ community meet ups at The Art Place

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A Pride placard recently created at The Art Place. Image credit: Uzmen Photography.

The Art Place in Chelmsford also continues to host its monthly LGBTQIA+ meet ups this summer. Sessions include over 18s LGBTQ+ socials on the first Sunday of each month; Trans+ socials every third Sunday of the month; and Chelmsford’s LGBTQ+ Youth Group for 13-19-year-olds on the fourth Sunday of each month, in collaboration with The Outhouse Youth Project.

The sessions provide a welcoming space for the LGBTQIA+ community to meet, share their thoughts, feelings and creative ideas, and to get crafty. Each session is free to attend and refreshments are available. Upcoming dates include 16 June (Trans+), 23 June (Youth Group) and 7 July (LGBTQ+)

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A Pride placard recently created at The Art Place. Image credit: Uzmen Photography.

Pride exhibition from the Artists At The Meadows

The Artists At The Meadows have themed their latest exhibition to Pride Month, featuring stunning portraits of well-known LGBTQIA+ figures, as well as artworks celebrating love, friendship and identity.

The Artists At The Meadows is a friendly pop-up gallery run by 20 local artists. They have a fantastic selection of artwork to explore, with new pieces added frequently and a rotating monthly community exhibition. You can also purchase the works on display if you find the perfect piece for your home or for a friend! Some of the artists are on hand each day to demonstrate their creative process or to have a chat – you might even see them working on one or two new pieces when you visit.

Keep up to date with all the local celebrations for Pride this month by following Essex Pride on Instagram.

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Cherelle Nightingill
Cherelle Nightingill

Cherelle writes about Chelmsford Theatre, Hylands Estate, Chelmsford Museum, the Mayor of Chelmsford and culture and events in the city.