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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 August, 2004, 15:35 GMT 16:35 UK
Brighton streets swell with Pride
Revellers at Brighton Pride 2004
Many people came dressed to party in wigs and costumes
The streets of Brighton were awash with colour on Saturday as several thousand people took to the streets for the annual Gay Pride parade and festival.

Accompanied by the sound of whistles, drums and music, more than 60 floats and 5,000 participants made their way from Madeira Drive to Preston Park.

Revellers carried rainbow-coloured flags and banners calling for inclusion and awareness of sexual diversity.

More than 90,000 people were expected to attend the all-day event.

The parade, which began at 1100 BST, was led by off-duty officers from Sussex Police, who were marching in uniform for the first time.

Deputy Chief Constable Joe Edwards said the move would help reflect the large lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community served by the force.

Many people braved the heat in exotic costumes.

Crowds at Brighton Pride 2004
More than 90,000 people were expected at the event

Others came dressed to party in line with this year's theme of The Hit Parade - which was chosen to commemorate the 30th anniversary of Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton.

The procession followed an extended route which organisers said would raise the profile of the event, which received public funding for the first time this year.

Organisers were awarded a grant of 26,000 from Brighton and Hove City Council, who have been discussing ways of "dressing" the city during Pride week.

Chair of Pride in Brighton and Hove David Harvey said: "We have the biggest parade of its kind in the country.

"The new route will ensure this celebrated carnival will become one of the most boasted about tourist events on our city's calendar."

Beach staff drafted in for Pride
07 Aug 04  |  Southern Counties
Police to wear uniforms at Pride
06 Aug 04  |  England
Thousands party at Gay Pride
05 Jul 04  |  England

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