THE first-ever Chester Pride festival celebrating the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community proved a huge success, attracting about 3,000 people.
Crowds flocked to the main stage outside Chester Town Hall where drag queens Wanda Why and Penni T compered entertainment including performances from X Factor finalists Chris Maloney and Amelia Lily.
A small group of anti-gay marriage campaigners failed to spoil the fun which began at 2pm and continued until late into the night with after parties at Rosies, The LA, Bar 6T9, The Old Queen’s Head and in St Peter’s Courtyard.
Lady Gaga and Pink tribute Vicky Jackson, Kameelion, Me and Deboe and burlesque group Beguiled all gave performances as part of the festival.
As well as live music and entertainment, the day included an outside market place and stalls inside Chester Town Hall featuring a wide range of groups or organisations.
Lord Mayor of Chester Jill Houlbrook made a speech of thanks during the festival, which could now become an annual celebration.
Some festival-goers confronted the placard-holding anti-gay marriage group but police said the festival had passed without trouble on the whole.
Five arrests were made following a disturbance in nearby St Werburgh Street but officers said it was not connected to the festival.
Cheshire Police spokeswoman Louise Hughes said: “Chester Pride took place on Saturday and Cheshire Police want to thank everyone that came for ensuring it was a success and enjoyable day.
“There was some lower level disorder unconnected to the pride event in the St Werburgh Street area at around 5.30pm involving young people.
“Five people were arrested for public order offences and a number of section 27 notices to leave the area were given.
“There was a high police presence to ensure the pride event and people shopping in Chester were not impacted.”
Chester Pride was organised by Lions Pride LGBT Network and sponsors included Cheshire West and Chester Council, University of Chester, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, Cheshire Constabulary, Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, Body Positive Cheshire and North Wales, Rosies and The LA pub.