Home   Bury St Edmunds   News   Article

Subscribe Now

First LGBTQ+ pride festival in Bury St Edmunds a ‘massive step forward’ for town and community





The organisers of a Suffolk town’s first pride festival have spoken of its significance as a ‘massive step forward’ for the LGBTQ+ community.

Up to 200 people are set to fill the Constitutional Club in Guildhall Street, Bury St Edmunds, for the event on Saturday, June 22.

Organiser Emma Warren, 39, said it feels surreal to finally welcome the town’s debut pride festival following the success of last year’s pride party.

Emma Warren has organised the upcoming pride event. Picture: Emma Warren
Emma Warren has organised the upcoming pride event. Picture: Emma Warren

“I’m excited and nervous. I can’t believe we’re now here. It means a lot to me and so many others and it all just feels very surreal at the moment,” said Emma.

“There have been times where it’s been a struggle but it’s such a massive step forward for Bury and the community.

“While planning this it has been amazing as people have been joining in social events, group chats and there has just been so much support and love.

The poster for the pride festival on June 22
The poster for the pride festival on June 22

“People who normally wouldn’t have maybe had that confidence have stepped up and evolved for something huge that is all about embracing the LGBTQ+ community in the area.”

The festival, hosted by Miss Freda Entry, will be an all-day event, including performances from drag artists and more, with a story book corner and face painting for children during the day.

Child-friendly activities will run from 2pm to 6pm, followed by entertainment for people aged 18 and over until midnight.

The first pride committee meeting. Picture: Emma Warren
The first pride committee meeting. Picture: Emma Warren

Yvonne Spooner, 67, is on the committee for the pride festival.

She and her partner, Vanessa Wright, were the first lesbian couple to get married at the Athenaeum, in Bury, in July 2007.

She said: “This is a really important event for the town because it gives people the chance to all come together, be inclusive and just be more open, so I am very excited for it.

Yvonne Spooner is on the committee for the pride festival. Picture: Yvonne Spooner
Yvonne Spooner is on the committee for the pride festival. Picture: Yvonne Spooner

“Growing up in Bury, it’s not even a negative town but differences have always been accepted but not celebrated I’d say.

“I come from a different generation where things were not as open so after all these years, it will be really nice to see this festival happen and it will be a wonderful occasion.”

Emma, chairperson of the Constitutional Club, said: “This time last year after the pride evening, I thought let’s make something even bigger and better happen next year.

“There have been times where it’s been a struggle but it’s such a massive step forward for Bury"
“There have been times where it’s been a struggle but it’s such a massive step forward for Bury"

“I put some feelers out and I was overwhelmed by the amount of people and businesses that were eager to get involved.

“It was a bit bonkers but now it’s all pieced together, I'm really looking forward to it and it is lovely that it will be a safe environment where people can come and be who they want to be.

“I want to add a massive thank you to our sponsors and everyone who has supported us as it means such a lot as well as the Constitutional Club for hosting the festival.”