Pagan Pride – Farewell, By Daniel Bran Griffith

Pagan Pride Farewell (2017 & 2018)

Sadly in May of 2019 it was announced that the ninth Pagan Pride had been the last. This is a sad but understandable move. The organisational work and expense involved in the creation of such an initiative, had increased every year. Both had reached levels beyond the comprehension of most of us.

I read this announcement with both understanding and disappointment. Pagan Pride Nottingham has been a huge influence upon the Pagan Community within the Midlands and nationally, raising the awareness of Paganism within sociality as a whole. I would have like to have seen just one more event, a tenth and final Pagan Pride. With my own small projects and initiatives; including ten years as a Pagan Federation Officer, I felt that the number ten was a suitably complete number to end with.

I attended the first Pagan Pride in 2009, the penultimate Pagan Pride in 2017, the last Pagan Pride in 2018 and the majority in-between. I have been at the front of the parade dressed as a jester and when I was a Pagan Federation Interfaith representative, I delivered a talk on that subject. I have been a stall holder and I have attended as an ordinary member of the public for shopping and socialising.

In both 2017 and 2018 Pagan Pride took place without the preliminary parade from the city centre of Nottingham to the Arboretum. There were several reasons for this, not least of which being the expense required to organise such a venture. Certain fees are required to be paid by the organisers of Pagan Pride Nottingham to the Nottingham City Council. These are to cover insurance and the necessary policing. Costs of a similar nature are naturally required in regards to the main event at the park. It is important to note that the parade had in those last year’s numbered several hundred people and the event itself, often attracted in excess of two thousand people to the Arboretum. These figures alone are a measure of the success that was Pagan Pride Nottingham.

The Pagan Pride main event hosted music in the bandstand, dance displays, various talks and workshops, a market and other entertainments, spread across most of the park. There was always something to see or do. Many would attend in costume or ritual garb, which added to the colour of the event.

That last Pagan Pride, although none of us knew that would be the last at the time, took place on Sunday the 5th of August. It was a truly beautiful summer day and I attended purposely as two people I know in real life were speaking. Reviews of their talks will be published separately. It was also the last time I saw a young woman whose passing is I am sure, felt deeply by all who were involved in Pagan Pride.

Rather than dwell unnecessarily on the loss of this event however, I prefer to remember the positive impression it has left upon the community at large. I remember the high quality of many of the presentations, some by very well known names; including Diane Narraway, Ashley Mortimer, Tony Rotherham, Sean Woodward and Shani Oates to name just a few.

In looking back over the nine years and whatever happens now to Esme Knight, other founders and the subsequent organisers of Pagan Pride; we should all wish them well. We should most importantly recognise the great achievement they have made. An achievement that they can all regard with genuine Pagan Pride.

┬ęDaniel Bran Griffith the Chattering Magpie 2018