THOUSANDS of gay people are expected to turn out for Bournemouth's fourth gay pride event next Saturday.

The event is called Bourne Free and will include a parade, live music and a dance event.

Manager of Branksome Arms Shaun Mitchell said: "There were discussions over sponsorship but there was never any question that the event would not go ahead."

The event is funded by a grant from the Local Network Fund, Bournemouth Borough Council and donations from local businesses and individuals.

Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church in Bournemouth Dwayne Morgan and treasurer of Bourne Free said: "Our church has been involved from the beginning with this event and this is important because for a long time the church has been negative towards the gay and lesbian community.

"We started running the event four years ago in response to a hostile reaction to a far right group. We were wondering what to do and then we decided to do what gay and lesbian people do best - to throw a party."

The event will start at 1pm with a parade from Alum Chine to Bournemouth along the seafront. The fancy dress theme is by the sea' so sexy sailors, camp crabs and passionate pirates are all anticipated.

This will be followed from 2pm with cabaret acts in the bandstand in the Lower Gardens and then for the first time the event will culminate in a dance arena in The Triangle.

The acts, organised by Shaun Mitchell manager of the Branksome Arms pub, will include singer Diva Jannine, boy band Billiam and Medusa will perform the new single Hail to the DJ.

There will also be go-go dancers and four DJs.

Entertainment starts at 7pm and ends at 11pm and entrance is by wrist band only.

These cost £5 in advance from Clone Zone in The Triangle and other venues and £8 on the night.

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