Show your pride at Calderdale's only LGBTQ celebrations

Last year's Happy Valley Pride at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. With their rainbow cake, from the left, Mary Mooney, Kelly Weston and Emma Barber
Last year's Happy Valley Pride at Hebden Bridge Town Hall. With their rainbow cake, from the left, Mary Mooney, Kelly Weston and Emma Barber

Calderdale’s only pride festival is returning to celebrate LGBTQ+ life in Hebden Bridge and beyond.

Now in its second year, Happy Valley Pride hopes to provide a spectrum of exciting, inclusive events, bringing together nationally renowned and local entertainment.

The theme for the week-long festival, which takes place from August 7 to 13, is LGBTQ+ Heroes with visitors asked “who’s yours?”.

The festival was the brainchild of a group of local residents who were shocked by homophobic graffiti they saw in Hebden Bridge.

They transformed it into a piece of interactive artwork and that sparked the idea of a week-long festival to celebrate diversity and inclusivity.

In the past year, the organisation has gone from strength to strength, doubling the trustee committee members and raising its profile through local fundraising activities.

Mike Stephens, chairman of Happy Valley Pride, said: “I’m really excited it’s come back round.

“This year is slightly bigger and better and we have some really quality acts including Zoe Lyons and Honeyfeet.

“We live in a great community but there’s still work to be done. That’s what the festival is about, showing how far we have come and raising awareness.”

Hebden Bridge will be at the centre of the festival with events planned including comedians, LGBTQ+ film screenings and inspirational talks.

An informal pub quiz upstairs at The Old Gate will kick-start the festival on Monday, August 7 with a screening of award-winning film Pride and a performance from alt-cabaret superstars Bourgeois and Maurice also on the cards.

High energy comedian Zoe Lyons will be appearing at The Trades Club in Hebden Bridge on Wednesday, August 9.

Human rights activist and campaigner Peter Tatchell (below) will be returning to the festival on Saturday, August 12 at Hebden Bridge Little Theatre after a popular appearance last year.

Musical entertainment won’t be in short supply throughout the week, culminating in an exuberant evening at The Trades Club on the Saturday with live performances from Manchester bands Honeyfeet and The Bright Black, rounded off by a Heroes’ themed disco with local DJ Red Helen.

Saturday’s main event, “The Big Day Out”, will transform Holme Street into a staged area where compere Jenny Wilson will introduce an eclectic mix of street entertainment.

Performances include Scottish country dancers the Gay Gordons; comedian Debs Gatenby; Bazzmatazz and local singer and songwriter Terry Logan.

Bringing the celebrations to a close on Sunday, August 13 will be a Pink Picnic and Pink Pooch Parade in Calder Holmes Park.

For more information on the festival and details on the events, visit www.happyvalleypride.com.