IT was a perfect day for a picnic – and a Eurovision memory.
And yesterday thousands of people turned out to the Pink Picnic to celebrate Kirklees’ lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
The gathering – at Moor End Farm in South Crosland – is the UK’s longest-established gay pride event.
Friends Gemma Donaldson, 22, from Birkby, Robert Day, 28, and Paul Tindall, 35, from Brighouse, were soaking up the atmosphere. Paul said: “I’m a pink picnic virgin – it’s my first time and it’s really great.”
Robert said he and Gemma had been before and had decided to bring Paul along this time.
He said: “There’s usually a big group of us that come down – they’ve got entertainment and some good rides.
“It’s a lot bigger here than it was when it was at Castle Hill.”
Organiser Stephen Bond said the festival committee was pleased with the venue and thankful to land owners Penny and John Sykes.
“We’ve got wonderful views here and because we’re out of town everyone who comes here comes specifically for this event,’’ he said. “It goes on until 7pm and then people head into town to the bars and clubs.”
There was a large selection of stalls, funfair rides and a beer tent. British bubblegum dance group Scootch were the headline performers.
The band represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2007 in Helsinki with their song Flying the Flag (for You), finishing 23rd out of 24 entries after scoring just 19 points in the final. The song reached number five in the UK Top 40 Singles Chart in May that year.
Darren Tudor, from Dudley, travelled to the Pink Picnic to perform his set of Michael Bublé-inspired songs.
He enjoyed a picnic in the sun with his partner, Simon Anderson, before taking to the stage.
He said: “Gay pride events are not really my kind of thing but I was really excited to come here because it’s a lot more laid-back.”
Simon said: “It’s a really nice setting here too and the location makes it a bit more intimate and friendly than other gay pride events like the one in Birmingham.”
Huddersfield Gay Group (HuGG) looked pretty in pink dressed in their fuchsia dresses and rose wigs.
The group’s founder, David Armitage, from Slaithwaite, said: “This sort of thing gives us a good chance to celebrate being gay and lesbian and we do it every year.
“This year we’re all dressed in pink – last year it was St Trinian’s costumes.
“It would be good if we could have the event in Greenhead Park like the carnivals and the mela but because of some prejudices and homophobia there is a chance that some of the wrong types might turn up.”