A timely and appropriate rainbow breaking through the ever-threatening clouds summed up the spirit of celebration at the inaugural Usk Pride event at the town’s Owain Glyndwr Field on Saturday writes BOB ROGERS.

‘It’s the first event of its kind in the town but it certainly won’t be the last; we’ll be back again next year even bigger and better,’ promised mayor of Usk, Steve O’Brien. Steve, the town’s first openly gay mayor attended the event with consort and partner, Peter Hall. He expressed his delight at the event, recognising the hard work and organising undertaken by members of Monmouthshire Youth Service.

The event’s Main Stage featured live music, speeches from LGBTQ+ advocates and memorable drag performances. The ‘Vendor Village’ offering rainbow merchandise, local crafts, food and beverages while an emphasis on community engagement was on hand to highlight initiatives, support networks and resources.

In the nearby council buildings, a clothes swap activity, ‘Out of the closet’ represented, say the hosts, an opportunity for all people to delve into the realm of self-identity through their appearance and clothing choices. All clothes were donated by Usk residents.

Councillor Ian Chandler, Monmouthshire County Council’s LGBTQ+ Champion, stated ‘’The event has represented a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our whole community in an inclusive and positive way. Whatever your gender identity or sexual orientation there was a welcome. The event has showcased the community we live in where, irrespective of gender identity or sexual orientation, Monmouthshire is a place for everyone.’

(Pictures courtesy of Gavin Breen and Usk Town Council)