THIS year’s Ilkley Pride, held on Saturday, June 29, attracted large crowds throughout the afternoon and evening.

This local celebration of inclusivity and diversity featured various artistic performances and entertainment.

Local performers, both established and emerging, took to the Winter Garden as part of the evenings ‘Pride Unplugged’ line-up, to showcase their talent while adding vibrancy and energy to the festivities. Meanwhile in the King’s Hall the entertainment was non stop from the outset with performances from Bosom Buddies, Joze School of Dance, Queenergy, Miss Syren, Lady Za Za and many others.

Bosom Buddies at Ilkley Pride Bosom Buddies at Ilkley Pride

A spokesperson for Ilkley Pride said: "Ilkley Pride goes beyond being a mere celebration; it is also an opportunity for education and awareness. The event featured an array of engaging activities such as workshops, pride-themed crafts, and a number of other stalls run by a mixture of both local and national organisations. These activities help foster understanding and bridge the gap between different communities and beliefs."

Ilkley Pride 2024Ilkley Pride 2024

Ilkley Pride was born out of a desire to create a safe and welcoming event for the LGBTQ+ community in the town and surrounding areas.

As well as the main Ilkley Pride event, Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group have encouraged a broader conversation about acceptance and inclusion.

With support from Bradford Youth Service, the group has started Ilkley’s first LGBTQ+ youth support group and plan’s are being made for a regular local wellbeing hub, as well as an educational signposting project to help local members of the LGBTQ+ community access support services relevant to their individual needs.

Following a campaign of hate surrounding last year’s Pride event the Ilkley Pride & Diversity team were invited to a meeting with West Yorkshire Police, chaired by Inspector Katie Madden. It was agreed the two organisations would work closely to help tackle hate crime across the region, improve reporting methods and help the force improve it’s relationship with the community.

As part of this project members of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Partnership joined this year's Ilkley Pride event to provide information on the prevention of hate crimes through early intervention, prevention and education.

Queenergy at Ilkley Pride 2024 Queenergy at Ilkley Pride 2024

A spokesperson added: "By celebrating Ilkley Pride and supporting Ilkley Pride & Diversity Group, the town and its residents have come together to proclaim that every person, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity, deserves to live free from discrimination and prejudice. Ilkley’s annual pride celebration stands as a beacon of hope, inspiring others to follow suit and promote inclusivity and equality in their communities.

"As Ilkley Pride continues to grow and thrive, it reminds us that love is a universal language, capable of breaking down barriers and building bridges of understanding. "By embracing diversity and nurturing empathy, we pave the way for a brighter, more compassionate future for all."