They were loud and they were proud!

Lorraine Crosby belts out a number on stage at Northumberland Pride.
Lorraine Crosby belts out a number on stage at Northumberland Pride.

Be proud, be loud, be you.

That was the message from the organisers of the first Northumberland Pride march and festival in Alnwick today, and it was taken to heart by the huge crowds who took part.

The march heads for Alnwick Rugby Club.

The march heads for Alnwick Rugby Club.

Aimed at celebrating the county’s LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community and promoting friendship and equality, the day kicked off with a colourful march from Alnwick Market Place to the rugby club.

With drummers the Bangshees banging out the beat, the procession snaked its way through the town, with flags, banners and whistles, as Saturday shoppers enjoyed the spectacle.

A host of organisations, groups and businesses were also represented. Co-op Funeralcare's rainbow hearse, complete with rainbow coffin, was an eye-catcher, along with the Northumbria Police LGBT+ car.

An afternoon of fun for all ages was laid on at Alnwick Rugby Club, including a health and fitness and wellbeing area; children, young people and families area; stalls; a fun fair; and a great line-up of music.

Crowds enjoy the first Northumberland Pride festival.

Crowds enjoy the first Northumberland Pride festival.

Among the entertainment was Alnwick's own Lewis Denny; singer Lorraine Crosby, who sang on Meat Loaf's smash I'd Do Anything For Love (But I Won't Do That), wowed the crowds and led a conga line of revellers; while Northumberland Pride was the first stop on Jess Kemp's summer Pride tour.

The day was being wound-up by headline act, Niki Evans. The X Factor finalist and West-End star.

Following the festival, Alnwick's Blue Bell Inn is hosting an after-party from 7pm.

The colourful Northumberland Pride march.

The colourful Northumberland Pride march.