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Pride Weekend 2023

It was Wet Wet Wet but Love Was All Around

Pride weekend 2023 in Newcastle reminded us of very much of that cheesy song by the Scottish troubadors, with unrelenting rain from Friday morning through to Sunday night. We are hardy up in the north though, so just slapped on a bit of extra Vaseline - for the inevitable nipple rub when running in wet clothes - and off we went!

Our #lgbt5k Festival of Running was the biggest since 2019, with nearly 700 places sold across the children’s and adults’ races. Selling so many places kept the treasurer happy, but in a cost of living crisis would our runners be able to up their fancy dress game this year? We should never have doubted, as perennial team-prize winners Saltwell Harriers re-invented themselves as baseball team Saltwell Yankees and hit a home run. On a grey, damp evening the sight of so many runners in tutus, Pride sequin dresses, feather boas and various fairytale characters was a fantastic spectacle and totally bemused our local herd of cattle on the Town Moor.

We’ve always loved to host our sibling clubs from other cities, and this year we played host to runners from Glasgow, Edinburgh and London Frontrunners plus the Birmingham Swifts LGBT running group. They joined us on Saturday in the annual Pride Parade though the streets of Newcastle and onto a decidedly soggy Town Moor for the main Pride community event and stage show. After a thoroughly damp 24 hours we needed to warm up and dry out – and what better way than in the fabulous period-themed bar, Prohibition, where we could dance to our favourite gay anthems while enjoying a free buffet.

All good things come to an end, but we didn’t end on a whimper – not only did 6 runners (local and visitors alike) brave the weather for a sight-seeing run of the city, but over 20 of us enjoyed a farewell brunch / hangover cure in town.

The party dresses are now in the tumble dryer getting ready to be hung up until next year – but stay tuned for details of the 2024 date when surely the sun will shine?


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