160,000 enjoy Brighton’s biggest Pride

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Saturday’s Brighton Pride festival was the biggest yet with more than 160,000 people joining the fun.

Unlike previous years, revellers enjoyed good weather all day for the march and party in Preston Park.

The parade, featuring 55 colourful floats, was led by members of the Gay Police Association and officers from Sussex police.

The theme for this year was Pride and (No) Prejudice and some marchers dressed up in Regency-era costume.

Police arrested 39 people at the event. There were seven arrests for assaults, including one which was deemed homophobic, six for theft and 17 for drug offences.

St John Ambulance said it dealt with about 220 casualties with 11 of these having to be taken to hospital.

Last year, the ambulance service said it treated a number of people who had taken ketamine. Police made a raid on a Brighton address on Friday and confiscated seven kilograms of the drug plus more than £60,000 in cash.

The event’s police commander Superintendent Steve Whitton said: “Once again, people have attended in their thousands to line the streets and take part in the Pride celebrations.

“Given the huge numbers we have seen attending, it has been a peaceful and successful event with very few isolated incidents. I’d like to thank all the organisers, the emergency services and all the participants for making the event such a great success.”

Judith Manson, Pride’s fundraising manager, told the Brighton Argus: “It has been the most amazing day, we couldn’t have asked for a better Pride 2010.

“Thanks to everyone involved and for coming to what has been the best Brighton Pride ever.

“The parade and park have exceeded all of our expectations.”

Revellers were asked by teams of volunteers to donate to the free event, which costs £250,000 to stage.