Galway’s Community Pride Festival, now in its 26th year, was packed to the rafters with events as the rainbow flag flew and blessed the City of the Tribes with sunshine, last weekend. Nitelife sent Aisling Daly along to taste the rainbow!    

As one of the only cities in Ireland without a gay bar, the outstanding and overworked Pride Committee poured blood, sweat, and tears into the organisation of both outdoor and indoor events in venues spanning Galway City. They made sure that every type of taste and age group were catered for. We have to say it was one of the best years of Pride celebrations that Galway City has ever seen!

The weekend had everything from Fashion Shows, lunchtime lectures, fancy-dress parties, the Equality Parade, Family Day and Dog Show, drag races, Pride Youth Day, a vigil, Bears Night, brunches and to top it all off, the annual Pride Boat Party on the Corrib Princess.

The three day/night celebration of equality was launched in the Monroe’s Live Back Stage Bar on Thursday 13th, with local band The Cozy Cartel kicking off what was to be a fabulous weekend of fun, frolics, commemorations, and shindigs.

Nitelife would love to have attended every event (we like to party but let’s be reasonable!) but our livers could only survive a few. So here’s our low-down of the events that we graced with our fabulous presence!

On a fun and event-filled Friday, we made it to Monroe’s Live Back Stage Bar for a Filthy/Gorgeous Club Night. It started at 9 pm, and though the crowd was slow to arrive, the place was buzzing by 10 pm as local reggae/ska aficionados The Clandestinos took to the stage. The theme of the night was ‘express yourself’ and we certainly did! We bopped, boogied and were most definitely merry by the time the band had finished. Then it was DJ Ruth from Break for the Border, Dublin on the decks…the ‘choons’ were so good, even the staff couldn’t contain their excitement; they were dancing along with us into the wee hours.

Thankfully, the weather (and our hangovers) held out for the Equality Parade on Saturday with…wait for it….the biggest rainbow flag in Europe (ta-dah), which was marched with beaming pride by the people of Galway ­­from Eyre Square to the Museum where we were entertained by local band Oddity.

Then it was a quick taxi home to get changed, get ‘prinking’ and back into the Roisin Dubh for the main Pride Party featuring Dublin’s Victoria Secret drag act and her dancers, backed by the Euphoria DJs. The place was packed to the rafters and the vibe was electric, as again, we danced and celebrated our way into the early hours.

Dragging *pun intended* our poor fragile heads out of bed on Sunday was a feat not to be looked down upon, as we almost needed sunglasses to open the fridge! But in true Nitelife style, we weren’t going to miss the last day of celebrations and the boat cruise. So, off we minced down again to Monroe’s Tavern for a delicious and highly necessary fry-up, along with an equally necessary Bloody Mary!

With sailor caps in tow, away with the dignity we went and boarded the Corrib Princess for the Annual Pride Boat Party. DJ Tanya and Vinny blasted out 80’s and 90’s favourites and local drag act Dixie Normous had us in stitches with her songs and stand-up performance.

You have to hand it to the committee…between them, they brought the city of Galway together to celebrate equality and raise well-needed funds for AMACH! LGBT group who represent and advocate on behalf of Galway’s LGBT community.

We’ll leave you with this quote from Linda (La-La) Lambert from the Galway Community Pride Committee:

“The sun shone on Galway’s Pride festival this weekend and it set the scene for a hugely successful weekend. We had great support from the businesses in Galway and the venues in Galway’s West End. From The Old Forge, Monroe’s Live and Monroe’s Tavern, Roisin Dubh…the entertainment was flawless and the help from within the community was unwavering, from some very reliable individuals. What made the weekend worth the hard work was the positive vibes, genuine feedback and the big smiles on people’s faces…It was one epic celebration!”

Images Courtesy of Caroline Walsh