Vibrance and colour exploded across the streets of Barnstaple on Saturday as the community came together to celebrate difference.
North Devon Diversity Festival featured its first Pride March this year with crowds turning out to enjoy the sun and entertainment.
The organisers, North Devon Sunrise CIC, lauded the march as a “celebration and affirmation of LGBT+ equality and acceptance of sexual diversity across the South West.”
Organisers have hailed Barnstaple’s first Pride March as “a landmark moment in our local history.”
In a first for North Devon Diversity Festival, dozens from the LGBT+ community and beyond flew the rainbow flag around the town’s streets.
Naomi Chunilal, the manager of North Devon Sunrise CIC which runs the festival, said: “It was a great success, lovely, vibrant and colourful with people from all walks of life celebrating LGBT+ equality and life.
“As the first time that the LGBT+ committee in Barnstaple have stood up and marched in an assertion of their identity, that is quite a momentous step and impactful for me as well.”
Thousands flocked to Castle Green, with the first ‘Around the World’ community voices project showcasing culture through food, costumes and creative arts.
Ms Chunilal added, “The message is to take down hierarchies and for everyone to come together as equals.”
Live music was also heard in the West African-inspired sounds of Helele and the well-known reggae of LionStar, who have played at Glastonbury.
Over 6,000 people turned out to last year’s event, which over time has become a core pillar of the local community calendar.
North Devon Sunrise, which aims to champion minority groups in the local area, was shortlisted from 20,000 volunteer groups for the National Diversity Awards in 2016.