Happy Valley Pride
First post alert! It seems fitting to do a quick round up of Happy Valley Pride weekend that has just passed in Hebden Bridge.
It’s all Happy Valley Pride’s fault that I’m here really. Rewind eighteen months and it’s a cold, wild night, Hebden Bridge was still reeling from the awful floods of December 2015 and were launching their new Pride event. Some days you just know that your life is going to change, births, deaths and marriages, that sort of thing. However, some days hit you without you knowing and this was such a day.
I was living in Manchester but had made the decision I wanted some countryside in my life. It was almost a done deal that I was going to another mill town and then bam, I fell in love. I was only covering the launch of Happy Valley Pride for Canal St Online but the town took my heart and before I know it, I’m holding a flag and ushering people into the Happy Valley Pride’s first ever street party.
The festival runs for a week but due to Manchester calling me I couldn’t start my experience until Friday night when cabaret favourites Bourgeois and Maurice took to the stage. I’ve never seen them before but loved almost every minute, I wasn’t too keen when Bourgeois came into the crowd and made a beeline for me, I can’t honestly remember what it was he said to me because I was too mortified. However I won’t hold it against them and would definitely recommend anyone going to see their act, it’s a bit like a risqué Victoria Wood with songs about chemsex parties and stalking people.
Saturday was the street party and it was ace. I didn’t see too much because I was manning the merchandise stall but the acts that I did see were really good. I’ve only ever experienced the big juggernaut Prides like Manchester, London and Brighton so it was great to see a local community coming together and cheering everything on.
On Sunday was my highlight, the Pink Picnic and Pooch Parade. The sun was beating down on us and I had a great day with my new chums playing the human fruit machine game (yes you read that right) and watching the dog show. If I didn’t want a dog before, I definitely want one now.
Once again Hebden came out in full force and everyone was lazing in the sun, listening to tunes and having a cheeky drink whilst kids played and dogs showed off their rosettes. I will bore you to death with how special Hebden Bridge is over coming posts but Happy Valley Pride shows it in it’s perfect light.
I did an interview with Mike the Chair of Happy Valley Pride for Canal St Online so I will give him the last word “We are definitely about serving the local interests and I see this as a real opportunity to become an alternative Queer Festival, exploring queer arts and the queer movement”.
Happy Valley Pride 2018 will kick off on 6th August, come and join us, we have a human fruit machine.