Dundee’s first Pride event has taken the organisers by surprise.
The city centre was a sea of colour as the parade kicked-off from City Square earlier today. From there it went through Murraygate and Albert Square before heading down Reform Street on its way back for a street party, which is scheduled to finish at about 8pm.
— University of Dundee (@dundeeuni) September 22, 2018
Event manager Lee Copland said they planned for no more than 5,000 people, but initial estimates look closer to 8,000. City Square’s capacity is 3,000.
He said: “Dundee has been crying out for something like this. It’s all very well having Pride events in the bigger places like Glasgow, but it’s good to have it everywhere and in the smaller communities as well.
“A lot of credit has to go to the volunteers. For all the planning the committee did, it wouldn’t be possible without them.
“We’re definitely coming back next year, bigger and better. We knew we’d want to come back even before seeing how many people came today. We’re going to need a bigger space than City Square though, so will probably look at something like Slessor Gardens in future.”
Proud to see my little branding attempt emblazoned across buses, banners and merch too 😍
Well done, @DundeePride 👍
— Russell Dornan (@RussellDornan) September 22, 2018
MSP Joe FitzPatrick made the opening speech, talking about his own journey coming out and how far equal rights have come on in the country, but noting that there is still some way to go.
Speaking before taking to the stage, he said: “The first of anything is always going to be really hard to organise. You don’t know how many people are going to turn up or how much the weather will affect that, but the organisers have done a great job.
“It’s been a wonderful day and it is a fantastic turnout.
“As a Dundee lad, I am proud to be here and to make the opening speech.”
For more, see Monday’s Courier.