Limerick Pride! (1st-9th September)
Last week, Limerick Pride 2012 was officially launched as the final preparations were being put in place for another year.
Rainbow flags are flying high and proud on the approach bridges to the city. The flags flying have become a unique symbol of the festival which has moved from a two day weekend festival to a nine day event. Running from this Saturday, until Sunday, 9th September, the festival has earned its place on the Limerick and Shannon Region annual festival calendar.
Rounding off the nation’s Pride festivals, Limerick Pride will be a mix of celebration, entertainment, education and awareness reflected in the this year’s programme of events.
Speaking about the festival, Chairperson Billie said:
Each year it feels as though we have ages to get the festival together and each year it comes around before we feel ready! This year we have been working tirelessly since October 2011 to write grants and raise funds to put this festival on.
Pride remains a controversial issue, and with the debate around marriage equality getting louder, Pride becomes more remarkable. Many believe it should not be necessary, that being LGBTQ should be ‘normal’ in society. Others would say, “Ask me what I can see before I can’t see it anymore” in recognition of the reality of those who do not feel, and are not treated, as equal.
Some of this year’s highlights inlcude:
Saturday, 1st September
Kicking off the festival is The Beginning of My Girl Life by Maite Logia, an art exhibition with a difference. Taking place on in the Red Ribbon Project, Logia’s debut show of work it is a collection of black and white photographs documenting the life of the artist in the early ’90s in New York City. The subjects are past LGBT friends and lovers: gay guys, lesbians, transvestites and all the colourful characters that were part of her experience.
The exhibition will be opened at 7pm by Limerick Person of The Year Richard Lynch who will also be serving as Limerick Pride’s first official Grand Marshall of the annual Limerick Pride Parade. It will run throughout the week of Pride, and is strictly over 18s.
Monday, 3rd September
Monday sees Political Pride as the highlight of the day. This will be an open forum on Marriage Equality in Ireland. Absolute Hotel, Sir Harry’s Mall, 8.00 p.m. Admission is free!
Tuesday, 4th September
At 6:30pm, the Red Ribbon Project holds a Sexual Empowerment Workshop for LBT women. Admission is free!
Once you’ve been empowered, head along to the Secrets Party! Inspired by PostSecret.com, Out in UL hosts Secrets Party at 8pm in Home @ Baker Place. All you have to do is send in your secrets on postcards. They can be anything you want! On the night, all the secrets that have been collected will be displayed on the walls of the venue. Everything will be anonymous – It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do, or who you love! Doors 8pm. Admission €8 (€5 euro with a Secret).
Wednesday, 5th September
Laugh out proud! Pride Comedy night at The Loft Venue @ the Locke, Georges Quay 8pm. Admission is just €2.
Thursday, 6th September
The Hunt Museum Queer tour starts at the Hunt Museum, Rutland St, at 2pm and admission is a snip at €3!
After all that culture and learning, get yourselves to Mr & Ms Gay Limerick! This is one of the highlights of the entire Limerick Pride festival, appara., and takes place in Bentleys Bar, hosted by Paul Ryder. This is the first year both competitions have been combined to form a double competition where the winners will go forward to represent Limerick at their respective National Finals later in the year! If you’d like to enter, just email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info! Doors 8:30pm. Admission €8.
At the launch of Limerick Pride: Sharon Arseburn, Cein Duggan (Mr Gay Limerick) and
Image: Limerick Pride
Friday, 7th September
The annual Pride Women’s Night takes place on Friday and will be a night full of music, laughter and entertainment. This will be followed by the Naughty ’90s where the music will be cheesy ’90s pop and cabaret provided by some amazing Drag Queens – a night not to be missed! Doors 8pm. Admission €5.
Saturday, 8th September
The Pride pièce de resistance is be the annual Pride Parade which will depart City Hall at 1:30pm!
The Parade has grown in numbers and in colour and this year the Pride organisers are aiming for the best parade Limerick Pride has ever seen. Come along and join in the festival fun and show your support to the colourful and fun filled event!
After the parade everyone is invited to come along to the Pop Up Playhouse in the grounds of the Hunt Museum for the Pride Block Party, with some amazing talented performances entertaining the crowds. The celebrations will be hosted by the flawless and divine Celine.
There’ll also be the Clock Party, in home @ Baker Place (3pm, admission free) and live music at the Locke, Georges Quay (6pm, admission free).
The fun and music doesn’t stop there as there will be live music in the Locke Bar to get everyone in the party spirit for the Pride Climax Party in Dolan’s Warehouse. The event, hosted by Sheila Fits-Patrick and Madonna Lucia, will be headlined by X Factor Star Johnny Robinson! Doors 10pm. Admission €17.
Sunday, 9th September
The third Annual recovery day run by Red Ribbon Project will kick off the final day of Limerick Pride. Everyone is invited to enjoy free complementary therapies, including full and half Reiki sessions. Absolute Hotel, Sir Harrys Mall at 2pm. Admission is free!
Closing the celebrations will be the Pride Géili – an event which celebrates traditional arts in all its glory. From Irish music to dance and story telling, the event will close the festival in true local style. It all kicks off at the Locke, Georges Quay, at 9pm. Admission is free!