A trial Pride day in Biddulph takes place on Sunday.
Steve Cannon, landlord of the Royal Oak pub on Station Road, is putting the final touches together for town’s first ever LGBTQ+ event which will take place at the freehouse, between 1-7pm.
Oak Pride will feature two drag artists, Stella Black and Sandy Ego, a Jamaican food van, as well as singer PJ Taylor who has been number one in the LGBTQ Music Chart.
Mr Cannon, who previously told the Chronicle he hoped the event would bring Pride to the “forefront” in the town, said: “We’re all getting ready for it now. It’s exciting!
“I was a bit panicky with the weather but it looks like it’ll be a good day for it. At the moment we’re predicted clear skies and 25–26 degrees – but if it rains, we’ll bring it inside.
“We’ve got lots going on, but we get really busy anyway, so I’m hoping for a few hundred people to turn up and I would like to see some new faces.”
He added: “Everyone in the pub is looking forward to it, all the locals are, and there’s been very little negativity.
“I think it’s going to be a great day. It’s our first Pride day in Biddulph.”
Pride flags will be on display in the pub’s windows during the family fun day, which will include stalls offering face-painting and cakes, a DJ, and for over-18s, a cocktail mixologist.
Mr Cannon grew up in the town but moved away for 22 years before returning last year and purchasing the pub in July.
He told the Chronicle that he’d set up Oak Pride to “dip a toe in the water” to see if the town was ready for change, and that he had been encouraged to hear that children wanted to take part.
“It’s all really encouraging. There are 14-year-olds and 16-year-olds who have asked their mum and dad to see if they can come, and of course they can,” he added.
“I’m hoping that this is just the start, and the town council can take it onboard, and we can do something bigger next year.”
“Pride is an event that can benefit the town, and the businesses in it, and most importantly, it’s about having a bit of fun.”
Oak Pride, which has been sponsored by Smirnoff Crush, is free to attend.
(Photos: Royal Oak).