Pagan Pride (2015) By Daniel Bran Griffith

Pagan Pride (Nottingham UK) 2nd August 2015

Pagan Pride UK cannot be described in one word, it is organic and exists with many appendages, in is a cellular entity whose sum is greater than its parts. It combines a protest march or perhaps a celebratory parade, a music festival and an open air market, with entertainment, educational workshops, lectures and talks, all of these are placed together to form a coherent if inexpressible whole. Pagan Pride defies description, Pagan Pride is Pagan Pride.

On Sunday the 2nd of August 2015 members of the Inner Court of the Hearth of the Turning Wheel and several friends, were amongst those that attended this magnificent event. The event itself is divided into two main sections. First there is a parade often large and noisy, which is led by the organiser and founder of Pagan Pride UK, Esme Knight. The parade winds its way through the streets from Nottingham Market Place, to arrive at the Arboretum at approximately noon.

On arrival there is a welcoming address and an opening blessing led once again by Esme Knight, then the main event proper can begin. The event is large and whilst the music takes place at the bandstand, there are dancing displays, a Community Area, an Arts Tent, talks, workshops and an open air market, spread widely across the Arboretum. There is always something happening, the programme is broad and it is a very full day.

One member of the Inner Court with friends, carried one of our Hearth of the Turning Wheel banners in the parade, I chose to arrive later and meet them at the Arboretum. Naturally, having both shared and differing interests, our group would split up and reform numerous times throughout the afternoon.

I chose to seek out friends and acquaintances, which meant I had the pleasure of three reprise performances. First catching Tony Rotherham, who in full costume was speaking about the local hero and outlaw, Robin Hood. Later after a wonder through the market, I was able to hear Steve Jones discussing the Masonic Roots of Wicca, before finally joining the Sacred Mask Sacred Dance demonstration led by Shani Oates, Maid of the Clan of Tubal Cain.

Others of our group, joined the numerous alternative offerings that day and there can be no arguing with the statement, there was something for everyone. One particular highlight for many, was the appearance of Phil Rose who played Friar Tuck in the 1970’s Robin of Sherwood TV series.

This was the sixth Pagan Pride UK event to take place in the city of Nottingham and I have attended all bar one. Each year the variety and quality of the entertainments, discussions, talks and workshops is not only maintained but oft actually increased. Each year the parade gets longer, the crowds get larger and each year Nottingham’s Pagan Pride is more impressive.

©Daniel Bran Griffith the Chattering Magpie 2015

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