THOUSANDS of people took part in the 25th Pink Picnic in Huddersfield at the weekend.

The celebration of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender life in the town took place in Greenhead Park yesterday.

X Factor finalist Johnny Robinson was the star attraction at this year’s event, performing from 4pm.

Comperes Marky Mark and Marrigold Addams welcomed a host of other acts on stage, including Stephanie Grimes, Terry Logan, Bears Aloud and Ryan Jagger.

Tony Hirst, vice-chairman of the Pink Picnic Committee, was pleased that the sun came out yesterday.

“I’m grateful for the weather,” he said.

“We want to create a community atmosphere, it’s not restricted to lesbian and gay people.”

Tony is one of a three-strong committee who took over organising the event this year.

“This has taken 10 months of planning. It’s been hard work for the three of us starting from square one,” he said.

Lee Johnson, 25, of Pudsey, was among the thousands of people in the park, with his partner Santana Taylor, 23, of Netherton and her four-year-old daughter Evie Mellor.

“It’s the first time we’ve been,” he said.

“We have a couple of friends who are gay and we’re meeting them later.

“It’s a great atmosphere and it’s the first time we’ve had some good weather for a while.”

The Pink Picnic was officially opened by the Mayor of Kirklees Clr David Ridgway at 12.30pm.

“I’ve supported gay and lesbian rights for a long time because I’m very much of the opinion that people are people,” he said.

“To keep the event going for 25 years is a fantastic achievement.”

The Pink Picnic included a bouncy castle and children’s rides and stalls from organisations including Kirkwood Hospice, West Yorkshire Dog Rescue and the union Unison.

Click on the link below to see our pictures from the event.

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Bradley couple David Slattery and Frank Carroll – both 60 – were running a stall for their Travel Counsellors franchise.

David said the gay-friendly travel market was growing.

“It’s building right up. Most hotels advertise as being gay-friendly,” he said.

“We can give advice about which places are gay-friendly.

“Vietnam is up and coming, it’s getting very popular because they haven’t had the stigma of outlawing homosexuality.”

David, who has been going to the Pink Picnic for 12 years, added: “There’s a great atmosphere.

“When I was young, you thought you were the only gay person so it’s refreshing to see people now being so open.

“Anyone who thinks they are gay can come here and see there are other people like them.

“There’s been a big change. Laws don’t change attitudes but they do set the ground rules and show that homophobia isn’t acceptable.”

Danielle Turner of the University of Huddersfield Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Society, was collecting signatures for a petition supporting gay marriage.

The group intend to present their petition to Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman.

Danielle said: “We want him to see that gay marriage is a priority.

“Everyone we’ve asked has signed the petition and they’ve been quite enthusiastic.”

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