HUNDREDS of people gathered for a march in Colchester city centre for the return of Pride.

The event saw the return of a Pride march through the city centre, which was led by the first batch of Colchester Pride community champions.

Those marching gathered at the Mercury Theatre at 10.15am before making their way down High Street, and arriving at the heart of the Pride action, Firstsite.

Gazette: Event - Colchester PrideEvent - Colchester Pride (Image: Colchester Pride Team)

There was truly something for everyone at this year’s event with performances from RuPaul's Drag Race UK stars Copper Topp and Essex’s own Cheryl Hole as well as a host of wonderful local favourites.

The fun at Firstsite ran from noon until 7pm and the venue hosted poetry and comedy hours, several workshops, and a marketplace showcasing independent businesses.

There was also a great array of food on offer.

Colchester Pride trustee Ben Powell said: “We are thrilled that Saturday proved to be Colchester's biggest and best Pride to date, with a record turnout, brilliant community feel and a stand-out line-up.

“Our committee work incredibly hard to put on the events that we do and want to thank all of our volunteers for helping make Colchester Pride 2023 the enormous success it was.

“We will continue to organise events for the LGBTQ+ community of Colchester, and Essex, and hope people will continue to support what we do and come together in celebration of the power of self-acceptance, inclusivity and diversity.”

Hundreds of people attended the event this year, all in an array of colours.

The Colchester Community Pride team said turnouts on their events have been on the ride across the board – particularly since lockdown.

Ben Powell added: “Pride brings LGBTQ+ people together but community keeps us together.”

Tickets are now also on sale for Colchester Pride’s Big Camp Cabaret at Colchester Arts Centre, which is set for next Saturday, as the charity gets the ball rolling with its fundraising campaign for Pride 2024.