ONE OF the biggest parades on the local calendar, Isle of Wight Pride, is set to return in style in Ryde this month.

The three-day event has been pencilled in to start on Friday, August 18, at Eastern Gardens.

Isle of Wight Pride was postponed from July 15 due to a poor weather forecast — and the wind and rain has really not ceased ever since.

Isle of Wight County Press: Cherry Liquor will be performing at Isle of Wight Pride 2023.Cherry Liquor will be performing at Isle of Wight Pride 2023. (Image: Isle of Wight Pride)

All being well, the festivities get underway with the Pride Launch Party, which will feature Cherry Liquor and Dawn the Drag Queen, plus DJ host, Boom Party Live, between 5pm and 9pm on the Friday. 

A variety of food and drink will be available, including the newly launched IW Pride cocktail. 

On Saturday, August 19, the Pride Parade will start at 12pm from Ryde School — heading down West Street, Lind Street, Union Street and along the Esplanade, until it reaches the Pride Community Village in Eastern Gardens. 

Entertainment on the main stage will feature a variety of acts, including Utmost Elton, MDNA - Madonna Tribute, Quivers, the Diva-Licious 90s show, star of The Voice UK, Amrick Channa, and concluding with a DJ set from Woody Cook, which gets underway at 9pm. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Last year's Isle of Wight Pride parade in Union Street, Ryde.Last year's Isle of Wight Pride parade in Union Street, Ryde. (Image: Pamela Parker)

Pride Community Village will be open all day until 10pm, and on Sunday, August 20, from 12pm until 7pm.

It will include bars, food stalls, business and charity stalls and the all-new Selfie Island, featuring the Pride Unicorns.

Isle of Wight Pride Plus, on the Sunday, will start at 12pm in Eastern Gardens, with all-day entertainment hosted by Island drag sensation, Quivers, and also featuring performances from local theatrical groups, Kylie and Dolly Parton tributes, the Gay-Ties Revival Show, the Promise to Love Ceremony and Starstruck: the Ultimate Years and Years Tribute. 

Many Island businesses and organisations have supported this year's event. 

"Isle of Wight Pride 2023 is free and open to all — championing the importance of equality and diversity, by highlighting advances made for the LGBTQIA+ community in the UK and around the world, as well as raising awareness of the prejudice and danger many still face," say organisers.

"Isle of Wight Pride is open for all to enjoy, who share our vision for a world in which people can be their authentic selves, with no fear of censure, judgement, inequality, or abuse — proving that love wins."