SKIPTON’S annual Pride event held over four days has been hailed a success by organisers, despite a change of venue to last year’s edge of town celebration. 

The Pride Street Party took place at the Skipton Town Hall complex and Jerry Croft on Sunday. It was smaller than last year’s Pride in the Park showcase which had been held in Aireville Park and financed by a Lottery grant and public donations.

Organised by the North Yorkshire Council cultural services team at Skipton Town Hall in collaboration with Skipton Town Council, Skipton BID, Skipton Library, North Yorkshire Youth Voice, SELFA Children’s Charity, Craven College, and North Yorkshire Youth Charity, the Skipton Pride aimed to create a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere for everyone.

Despite the change in venue, organisers pulled out all the stops to ensure the event held between July 6 and 9 was as inclusive as possible, with attendees enjoying the colourful atmosphere and medley of entertainment.

Theatre, music, comedy, dance and various engaging activities and creative workshops for families and young people were organised, ensuring there was something for all ages to engage in.

Spokesperson Danielle Daglan, cultural services manager with North Yorkshire Council said: “The Pride Street Party on Sunday, July 9, was a highlight of the festivities. Visitors enjoyed free entertainment in Skipton Town Hall concert hall and Museum Yard amphitheatre which included performances from Choriza May, star of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Amanda Lovett from BBC1 hit show, The Traitors and The Big Gay Disco Bike, alongside fabulous performances from our Skipton and Craven community including Skipton Ukelele Club, Craven College, Neon Town, Connor Fisher, Ferne Ando and Fifth Apollo.

“There was a diverse array of over a dozen community stalls showcased around the town hall complex, with representation from The Samaritans, Skipton Step Into Action, North Yorkshire Fire & Rescue and Skipton Methodist Church to name but a few. Community stalls offered activities, advice, information and lots of cake to visitors on the day, really adding to the festival spirit of the event. More stalls down Jerry Croft featured various food and drink options, clothing, flags and other Pride-themed retail and souvenirs.”

Events got underway on Thursday with storytelling in Skipton Library with Drag Queen Story Hour UK.

On Friday, people got involved with a family story time and craft activity at Skipton Library, and for the grown-ups only there was a special edition of Skipton Comedy Live at the town hall, featuring four top-class LGBTQIA+ comedians.

The host was Robyn Perkins, multi-award-winning American comedian, based in London.

North Yorkshire Youth Voice was very busy at the drop-in workshops for families and young people, held at Skipton Library and Museum Yard – with a host craft activities to try and a protest wall made by participants through the day.

Special guests from Yarndale festival held a day-long drop-in woolly workshop in the Town Hall Education Room, and the Town Hall was festooned with the fabulous colourful knitted bunting made by members.

Organisers from the Skipton Town Hall team said they were delighted to have received ‘fantastic feedback’ from those who attended, declaring it a ‘friendly and accessible Pride’ with a ‘lovely, chilled and welcoming’ venue. They said staff were praised for being friendly, funny and reassuring and for working tirelessly to try create a welcoming event for everyone.

The emphasis on the weekend was one of fun and entertainment while showcasing a range of cultural activities and community engagement opportunities.

The town hall team was also delighted to have been able to use the facilities at the refurbished hall which reopened in 2021 having undergone a £5million restoration project. Work included the restoration and refurbishment of the museum and the building of a museum store; and creation of an extension for a dedicated education room, dressing rooms for the concert hall and additional facilities including a Changing Places Toilet, work to the roof, facade.

The entertainment on Sunday was supported by sponsors Glentrool, owners of the Albion Place retail hub.