Thousands attend parade and celebrations at Manchester Pride 2010

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Thousands of people attended Manchester’s 20th annual gay Pride parade and celebrations over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The parade, part of the Big Weekend that concludes Pride week, was this year led by Sir Ian McKellen. Despite damp weather, organiser Jackie Crozier told the BBC that the turnout was “fantastic”.

She added: “We’re absolutely delighted with the amount of people who turned out and also the people that put so much effort into their parade entries.”

The parade set off from the centre of Manchester, on Deansgate, travelling up the city’s main shopping street before snaking through St Anne’s Square, past Albert Square and ending in the Gay Village. Making up the parade were more than 100 groups and floats, including one featuring cast members of Coronation Street, the Manchester-set soap which has now been on screen for 50 years, and has recently introduced its first lesbian character.

On Sunday night, US singer Kelis headlined the stage show, yelling “Scream if you’re proud!” at the massed crowds.

The parade, which started off relatively small in 1990, is instrumental in helping to to raise funds for LGBT organisations and groups across the Greater Manchester area.