Page last updated at 06:50 GMT, Tuesday, 26 August 2008 07:50 UK

Pride festival comes to a close

Manchester Pride 2008
Hundreds of people took part in Saturday's parade

The Manchester Pride festival, which attracted thousands of visitors over the weekend, has come to a close.

The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender event, which is one of the largest of its kind in Europe, is now in its 18th year.

It ended on Monday with a candlelit vigil in Sackville Gardens to remember those who have died from HIV and Aids.

Highlights of the festival included a Mardi Gras-style parade and a number of high-profile concerts and exhibitions.

Saturday also saw the world's biggest gathering of homosexual police officers, when more than 300 took part in the Pride parade.

During the vigil on Monday, a minute's silence was held followed by readings, poems and music on the theme of remembrance.

The Pride festival, which began on 15 August, is expected to have boosted the local economy by about 19m.

The Bank Holiday Big Weekend extravaganza, which was seen as the pinnacle of the 10-day event, saw revellers from across the world flock to Manchester - spending money in bars, clubs, restaurants and hotels.

About 100,000 was also raised for HIV and AIDS charities.


SEE ALSO
Police take lead in Pride parade
25 Aug 07 |  Manchester
Thousands attend Gay Pride event
05 Aug 07 |  West Yorkshire

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