The hub of England's second-largest metropolitan region (population 2.6 million), Manchester is also home to the country's second biggest gay scene, an area that's only continued to thrive and grow in recent decades (the popularity of the Manchester-based TV show Queer As Folk gave the neighborhood an international boost in the late '90s). The city is home to the fabulous and hugely attended Manchester Gay Pride celebration in late August - the dates this year are August 23 to 26, 2013, but there are a number of events taking place the week leading up.
More on Manchester Pride 2013 will be posted here as information becomes available; here's a look back at last year's event, in the meantime:
Manchester Pride comprises a series of events and parties, including cultural and arts presentations, a parade with more than 100 floats, a continuous weekend festival, and a concluding HIV Candlelight Remembrance Vigil on the final day, Monday - it's held at Sackville Gardens at 9:15 pm.
Much of the cultural and arts component of Manchester Pride takes place during Manchester Pride Fringe Festival. During these six days, you can attend more than 40 events during Fringe, including photography, theater, a fetish-themed comic performance, art exhibits, adult urban dance workshops, an LGBT family fun day, Women's Pride, stand-up comedy, jazz supper club, and much more.
Following Pride Fringe, the Manchester Pride Weekend - or "Big Weekend" as it's referred to, kicks off on Friday and lasts through Monday, August 27. Events take place largely in and around Manchester famed Canal Street Gay Village and include a GayDar Main Arena headlined by entertainers the Steps, Bjorn Again, Louise Dearman, Bruno Langley, Scarletts Roses, and more; the Sackville Gardens Stage, which includes a Women's Stage; a Village Square dedicated to up-and-coming performers and many other events; a Lifestyle Expo and Village Markets with exhibitors and vendors; Out in the Past Heritage Trail tours, and - of course - countless parties and events held at village gay bars and restaurants.
During Manchester Pride Weekend, the Manchester Gay Pride Parade takes place on Saturday at 1 pm, commencing at Deansgate, and following St. Ann's Street, Cross Street, Albert Square, and Princess Street to Whitworth Street, by the Gay Village.
Additionally, gay-popular bars, restaurants, hotels, and shops in the area have more going on than usual during Pride week. Check online resources about the Manchester gay scene, such as the the NightTours Gay Guide to Manchester and ManchesterBars.com's Gay Village Nightlife Guide. Also take a look at the excellent GLBT site produced by the city's official tourism organization, Tourism Manchester.