F yne Times is once again proud to sponsor Oxford’s biggest LGBT event – Oxford Pride.

Following the incredible success of Oxford Pride 2015, we are very proud to announce that Pride 2016 is on the way, and it’s going to be amazing!

Launching on Friday 24th May for the Bank Holiday weekend, we have the Pride Festival featuring exhibitions, talks and film viewings, parties and even a Dog Show, all leading up to Pride Day on Saturday 4th June, with our annual Parade starting in Radcliffe Square winding through our historic streets to a day of celebration and Oxford-Pride_Super_Logo2campaigning as we become HEROIC in the very heart of Oxford.

2016 will be celebrating Heroes of our past and present – and hopefully inspiring a few for the future! Our rallying cry is “We Can Be Heroes!” as we welcome all of Oxford to join with us and celebrate the wonderful diversity and tolerance of our beautiful city.

2015 saw us move to the unique location of The Castle Quarter and Paradise Street, allowing us to reboot the whole idea of our now well established event and make it more, well, Oxford! Once again we are teaming up with The Castle Quarter, Bitten Street and the City Council to bring everyone a huge celebration of our wondrous, crazy tolerant hometown.

Over the past few years, Prides across the country have become great beacons of our determination to fight for equality, and hold tight the rights we have won, after battling for many, many years, but they can often feel a little bit similar, a little bit ‘same’ – a BGT boyband here, a drag act there, it can all lead to us asking “Which Pride am I at?” – That’s not what we want for Oxford Pride.

We are so very lucky to have one of the nation’s most marvellous cities as our home, it is one of the cleverest places on the planet, and one of the most open, tolerant and diverse homes for the LGBT+ community. Oxford Pride is determined to celebrate not only our own heroes, our own achievements, but those of our magnificent city as well.

With 2016’s theme of “We Can Be Heroes”, we are well aware that we stand on the shoulders of giants – both inside the LGBT+ family and across the greater Oxford community. From the achievements of the University to the determination of our street sweepers, from the tolerance of our Pub Landlords to the talents of our buskers, we all help to make Oxford unique, to make Oxford special, and we are incredibly PROUD OF OXFORD.

We have already had many great events across the city, from fundraising Picnics at the Natural History Museum, the Appletide Cider festival, to the annual Boat trip on the Thames. Ahead of us we have everything from a huge Bowling Night to a very Oxonian treasure Hunt and, of course, the Oxford Pride Dog Show (Bedlam!) Oxford Pride is well on the way to becoming a major fixture in the city’s cultural calendar.

2015 saw a record breaking 6000 people come to Pride, with a Parade double the size of any we have seen before, and the Castle Quarter and Paradise Street giving us the venue we deserve. It allows us to show off our unique community, in our unique city in the best possible ways, all with the Rainbow Flags flying proudly across the city, from the Town Hall to St George’s Tower.

2016 will build on all of this, with a different feel to each of the ‘zones’ within Pride. Whether you want to dance all day at the St Georges Stage, or Picnic with a Pyms, or join in the Street Party on Paradise Street into the night and more, there is something for everyone.

This city is a place of wonder, tolerance and diversity, and full of unlikely Heroes. Oxford Pride 2016 is a great celebration of this, and yes, We Can Be Heroes – because this city loves us, and we love it.

We are PROUD OF OXFORD, PROUD IN OXFORD!

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Natalie has been an LGBT journalist for 12 years and joined the Fyne team in 2001. Her interests outside of work are cycling, running and badminton. She is also studying for a degree in psychology.

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