Cúan Cusack, Chairperson of Pride of the Déise, says, “This pride month, we want to emphasise the significance of pride for the LGBTQIA+ community. We are fortunate in Waterford to have a resilient queer community. But, we should not have to be resilient. We should be able to be vulnerable, to be fragile without being broken. I would like to take this moment to remember the people in our community that have lost their lives due to bigotry, hate, social and class oppression. To commemorate people who cannot enjoy pride this year.”
This year’s Pride of the Déise festival features a diverse range of events, happenings, and gatherings designed to celebrate and empower the LGBTQIA+ community in Waterford. Highlights include a dance workshop with Rachel Ni Bhraonáin, a greenway cycle, a walking tour of Kilmacthomas, a block party on O’Connell street, youth parties, and the pride march.
The youth and adult committees have worked tirelessly to ensure that the programming is affordable and accessible as possible to all members of the community.
The Pride of the Déise Youth Committee has also organised a dedicated youth day, featuring drag workshops, talks, and karaoke, to provide a space for young LGBTQIA+ individuals to express themselves freely and connect with their peers.
Pride of the Déise extends a warm welcome to LGBTQIA+ individuals and allies, encouraging them to show their support and join the pride march on Saturday, June 3rd. The march will commence at 1 p.m. in Cathedral Square, concluding on O’Connell Street, where everyone can enjoy live music performances by Amber and the Bear and Host on the Summer In The City Stage.
Pride of the Déise is also excited to collaborate with Alien Nation for a club night at Electric Avenue on Saturday, June 3rd. The event will showcase queer performances and feature DJ Lychee 800 as the headline act. Tickets can be booked through the Alien Nation website.
Here are some of the highlights you can expect throughout the weekend.
Friday, June 2:
There will be a beginners’ dance workshop from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Garter Lane.
A fun drama workshop, celebrating LQBTQIA+ People and Pride through various drama activities, takes place at 6 p.m. at the Manor Street Youth and Community Centre. Tickets are free but booking is recommended. This event is over 18’s.
Waterford Gallery of Art on O’Connell Street is the place to be for the launch of the festival at 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 3:
Pride of the Déise’s second annual Pride March begins at Cathedral Square at 1 p.m.
The Block Party in collaboration with Summer in the City kicks off at 2.30 p.m. in the Cultural Quarter on O’Connell Street. It’ll feature Lady Fifi Fondue, DJ’s and live music from Amber and the Bear and Host.
Alien Nation are hosting a botanical club night at Electric Avenue from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m., with DJ Lychee and special guests. Tickets required.
Sunday, June 4:
Join in the Youth Pride Parties at the Manor Street Youth and Community Centre for a Pride celebration by and for young people. Meet new friends and take part in games and workshops.
Monday, June 5:
The Pride Ride is back by popular demand, so get on yer bike and be ready to set off at 12 p.m. from Bilberry Greenway to take on the 10 k.m. roundtrip cycle to Kilmeaden and back. I can’t think of a better way to dust off the cobwebs after all the weekend’s fun festivities.
But if that’s not your thing, then join StepsBackThruTime for a guided walking tour that takes you through 10 places of intrigue within a 5 k.m. looped range. That kicks off at 12 p.m. from the Kilmacthomas Workhouse Greenway carpark. See here for more details.
Also on the bank holiday Monday there will be a Sexual Health Workshop. This is a safe space to explore sexual health topics and sexual health promotion. It will run for 1.5 hours, starting at 3 p.m. and is over 18’s only. It will be held at the Youth and Community Centre on Manor Street. It’s free and you can reserve your spot here.
To learn more about Pride of the Déise festival’s program of events and pre-register for workshops, visit www.prideofthedeise.ie or follow Pride of the Déise on Facebook, Instagram or twitter.
Photos courtesy of Keith Currams.