WINDY CITY TIMES
||Visit Manchester for Pride
TRAVEL: ENGLAND Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Jeff Guaracino
This article shared 5935 times since Tue May 29, 2012
A short two-hour, 18 British-pound train ride away from London is Manchester, England. It is a small big-town city, much like Philadelphia. It has charm, culture, a vibrant nightlife and this city's annual pride event, Manchester Pride's Big Weekend, shouldn't be missed. This year's festival kick's off Aug. 17 with the 'big weekend' ending Aug. 27.
What's so different about Manchester Pride? Everything. City Hall hoists a giant rainbow flag. The Pride Parade goes on and on ( in a good way ) , with 120 floats, including an openly LGBT police officers' contingent. There is a women's-only space at Sacksville Park with music and live performances. And, most importantly, this pride festival has raised 1 million pounds for HIV/AIDS services over the past 22 years. According to organizers, Manchester Pride has traditionally been a fundraiser for the LGBT and HIV communities, and is the only Pride event in the U.K. that has consistently done so.
Manchester's Canal Street is the center of the LGBT community during the day and night. This city and this street was home to the original Queer As Folk series before HBO introduced the groundbreaking script to U.S. audiences. During the day, Canal Street is a tranquil retreat with interesting shops and great outdoor cafes and funky restaurants. At night, the Rembrandt and Churchill's are traditional gay pubs. ( Writer's note: Drink the beer! It's cheap and the hard-alcohol drinks like vodka are measured by the ounce. ) Nightclub/Bar Queer is fun while Mancunia, Cruz and Legends are the main dance clubs. There are some "men's-only" bars in Manchester organized by the local business guild. There are great hotels close to Canal Street.
You will want to save time during the day to take in the local culture. If you are lucky enough to catch a Manchester United game, do it! Manchester is a sports town, just like Philly. Check out the schedule at www.manutd.com and buy your tickets now. They are hard to get.
For more information on travel to Manchester, check out www.visitmanchester.com/lgbt. For more information on Manchester Pride and to buy tickets, visit www.manchesterpride.com .
Jeff Guaracino is the author of Gay and Lesbian Tourism: The Essential Guide for Marketing and the co-chair of the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association.
This article shared 5935 times since Tue May 29, 2012
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