The organisers of the first-ever Nelson Mandela Bay Pride in Port Elizabeth, in the Eastern Cape, say that they are ready for Saturday’s historic parade.

“Everything has been confirmed and is in place,” organiser David Hessey told Mambaonline on Friday.

“I’m very excited and I’m expecting many more people than I was a couple of weeks ago” he added. “I’ve been getting phone calls from people all day, from Cape Town for example, who are going to be coming.”

The parade will take place in Port Elizabeth on Saturday from 1pm, kicking off from Stanley Street (Richmond Hill) across Cape Road, down Robson Street, and up Parliament Street to the stage outside Day-Zees Church.

The event is being held under the theme of ‘Born this Way’.

“We are supporting tolerance and diversity and raising awareness about so called ‘corrective rape’ and HIV and Aids,” said Hessey, who called on people from all backgrounds and sexual orientations to take part.

“We do not only want the gay community to stand against this crime but all Port Elizabethans.” Profits made on the day will go to the House of Resurrection Haven in Salsoneville and the Luleki Sizwe Corrective Rape Project.

The Parade will be followed by a street party at 2:30 pm with free live music, featuring artists such as: The New Afroteens, David Magowan, Thabz Soulstar, Darren Green from KFM, Lola Fine, Jooma Mize, Terry Tiger Victor, Kevin Ellis, Sam Marais, Mbuzobuciko, Way WordSun, Taryn De Koning, Odidiva, Monique Walker, Will Jensen, Wesley Thomas Chippett, Ziyanda Yono and Ebrahim.

The day’s entertainment is expected to continue up to 9pm. Afterwards, Day-Zees, 52 Parliament Street, and DnE will be open for revellers to party the night away.

The event has the backing of the Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism Board and local branches of the ANC and the DA. The Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality has a population of over 1.3 million people.

The Nelson Mandela Bay Pride Parade will take place on the same day as the Soweto Pride Parade in Johannesburg, Gauteng.

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