ON Sunday 21 July, Carlow town will be painted red … and orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet!
“We’ll have the town out in a rainbow!” laughed John Paul Payne, one of the main organisers behind Carlow town’s first-ever gay Pride festival. The event, the first of its kind outside of Ireland’s major cities, will entail a colourful parade from Carlow College through the town to the town park. There, a massive picnic and fun gay day is planned with live music and outdoor entertainment. Afterwards, Dicey Reilly’s pub will host an after-party that’s promised to be absolutely fabulous!
“We’re asking people to gather in the college and to wear bright clothes. We want people to join in the parade. This is not a spectator sport – we want people to participate,” John Paul pointed out.
Ahead of the big day, make-artist John Paul and his crew of helpers organised a fundraiser, a Mardi Gras bingo night, in Scraggs Alley, Tullow Street, Carlow to get the word out about the town’s first ever Pride parade and gay day. TV star Robyn Diamonds flew into town especially for the night to act as MC, while people travelled from one end of Ireland to the other to join in the fun and games. John Paul reckons the sell-out bingo night was indicative of how excited people are about the inaugural Pride parade.
“Pride is for everyone; no-one is excluded. We’re doing this because we want young people to know that there are others here like them … to show them that we’re all part of the community,” added John Paul.
The parade will assemble in Carlow College at 1.30pm on Sunday 21 July before setting off around the town. The committee is looking for assistance, so if you’d like to help, please contact Carlow Volunteer Centre on 059 9173033.