The parade moves off from the assembly point on Dumballs Road at 11.00am on September 1st through St Mary Street and High Street prior to arriving at Cooper’s Field in time for the main Mardi Gras event.
Richard Newton chairman of the Cardiff Wales LGBT Mardi Gras said, “Statistics show us that trans and homo-phobic hate crime is on the increase in south Wales; and that many have suffered bullying and discrimination in schools and at work. We believe that the key to stopping this is to create visibility and understanding and we want to do this by taking this opportunity to parade through Cardiff City Centre.”
The Mardi Gras committee are challenging as many businesses, employers and organisations to get involved in the Parade as possible. Similar events in other parts of the UK see huge representation from the public sector, the armed forces and many employers. Richard Newton adds ‘ Many reports still show that gay people fear hostility and discrimination in the workplace as a result of their sexuality. For instance lord Browne a former CEO of BP recently highlighted that the business world was ‘intolerant of homosexuality’. This is a chance to show to the world that Cardiff is a modern and diverse City in which to live and work.
There will be no charge for individuals and non-commercial organisations joining the parade on foot although there will be a charge for commercial businesses. There will also be prizes for the best Float and Best Walker. Application forms have been posted on the Cardiff Wales Mardi Gras website www.cardiffmardigras.co.uk. The Parade will travel through the City Centre arriving at Coopers Field in time for the start of the main stage activities which include X Factor Finalists Marcus Collins and Ruth Lorenzo, and singer Heather Small and world supergroup The Freemasons.
Jane Hutt AM, Minister for Equality added: “I’m delighted to see the Mardi Gras returning to Cardiff again this year. Cardiff Mardi Gras is a great example of how we can bring people together to eliminate discrimination, something the Welsh Government is always keen to support. This year will see the first Mardi Gras Parade through the city centre which will be a highlight of the weekend. I’m sure the 2012 Mardi Gras will be another big success for Cardiff.”
Richard Newton urged the local communities and beyond to participate, and added, ‘Parades in other parts of the country have attracted participants from all walks of life, University’s, Health Boards, Businesses, Local Government Offices, the General Public and various Associations. Our aim is to attract as many participants as possible to brighten the Streets of Cardiff and take a positive stance against discrimination, this will strike a chord with many so come and join us’.