Amy and I go to Pride London pretty much every year. We usually head up to town, have a wander through Trafalgar Square and have a look at the various stands and stalls, before heading to find a good spot for the parade. This year we intended to do much the same, but with our lovely rainbow baby in tow!
We started the day running late, with all the transport messed up AND we forgot the Lillebaby carrier! But thankfully it was on the up from that point.
The weather had been forecast to be apocalyptic, so we had everything crossed that it wouldn’t be too bad and we would be able to enjoy the parade. We skipped the square and got our spot just down on Pall Mall, where we stood last year as well. Eden and I put a blanket on the floor and had a little play while we waited for the parade to reach us. It was a beautiful sunny day and everyone was in high spirits. Eden was wearing a gorgeous rainbow tutu, which I bought for her when she was about a week old with this very occasion in mind. She was also pretty much up to her eyeballs in sunscreen – can’t risk a burned baby! I find waiting out for the parade often means I get sunburned, but I wasn’t risking that happening to Eden. So it was factor 50 all around!
The parade soon rolled up and Eden had a great time smiling and high fiving people (with a little help). We ended up adorned in all kinds of flags, buttons, badges and stickers and were even given some balloons by Starbucks. Every time we go anywhere with Eden, I’m totally amazed by her. She really is such a happy, no drama baby. It was about 90 minutes into the parade before she needed a bottle and a sleep, so we ducked out at that point so she could nap in her buggy – we had folded it by the barriers so that it wasn’t taking up all important space.
Bottle done, sunscreen reapplied and sleep underway, we wandered down to Trafalgar Square. There wasn’t as much to look at as there usually is, so it was a quick wander through and then off for food. Once we were fed and watered we decided to hear up to the Family Area in Golden Square. That was when the heavens opened and oh boy! Did it rain! So much rain! We sheltered under a shop awning until it passed, which was thankfully not too long and then we continued our wander through Soho. The family area was just meh. Whether it was the recent rain I’m not sure, but there wasn’t a whole lot going on there. I thought there might be more family specific stands, but there was a face painting stand, an entertainer and the telegraph newspaper. That was it. Needless to say we didn’t stay long and headed off to find a rainbow coffee.
On the way up Regent street we realised that the parade was STILL going past! This was about three hours since it started! And most people had left, which made Amy and I both really sad. So, we took up a spot near the barriers and clapped and whooped along with the groups. Eden, who was awake by now, pulled out the smiley face and again ended up covered in stickers, much to my amusement. Apparently the parade was about four hours long in total, which is horrendous. Maybe needs condensing a little bit for next year as I can’t see anyone lasting that long!
We ended Eden’s first Pride with a stop in Costa Coffee for the rainbow flat whites that they were serving for the occasion. I’d never had a flat white before, so a rainbow(ish) one was a great start! It was lovely and we had a nice rest in Costa while the rain poured down outside. I’m so glad that it held off for the majority of the day, but I felt quite bad for those revellers that were still enjoying the entertainment in Trafalgar Square. Maybe one day we will make it down there with Eden, but at the moment I feel like she’s too little for crowds that size.
We headed home around 7pm, just missing Alesha Dixon in the square – booooo! All in all, we had a lovely day. I was disappointed by the family area. There wasn’t much going on and I didn’t feel like it was very welcoming, despite there being lots of people there. I thought the parade was fab but waaayyyyyyy too long! Sometimes I find that the parade gets a little crazy, and I was quite worried about that happening while we had Eden with us, but I’m happy to report that it didn’t. The people standing around us were lovely and very aware of her. Nobody pushed, nobody acted stupid. It was nice.
Pride is such a lovely occasion for everyone to come together and be proud of whoever they are and whoever they love, and this was especially important this year after the atrocities in Orlando. Seeing thousands of people out on a gloriously sunny London day celebrating was wonderful. I know a lot of people have issues with children being taken to Pride, but I don’t understand why at all. It teaches kids that everyone is awesome everyone is equal and everyone has a right to express themselves. We may go to Brighton Pride also this year and have roughly earmarked New York Pride for next year, but we’ll have to get our ducks in a row before that becomes a definite.
So, happy Pride season one and all. May your rainbows be bright and your company be awesome.