Page last updated at 17:36 GMT, Saturday, 1 August 2009 18:36 UK

Thousands out for city gay parade


'The parade was glittery, glamorous and at times even garish'

Thousands of people have turned out for the annual Gay Pride parade through Belfast city centre.

It was the culmination of a week-long celebration, which included lectures, exhibitions and performing arts events.

Free Presbyterian Church members were among those who staged a protest over the event outside the city hall.

Parade manager Scott Mitchell said: "This is a family-orientated event open to everyone - and as long as you don't cause trouble we're happy to have you."

Protesters outside Belfast City Hall
A protest against the parade was staged outside Belfast City Hall

He said he hoped the protesters may eventually agree to take part in the parade, "but unfortunately we're just going to have to deal with that until they decide not to do that any more".

In its 19th year, the parade of floats, bands and dancers made its way through the city centre, finishing up at a party in Custom House Square.

For the second year in a row, the Parades Commission did not place any restrictions on the event.

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