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PRIDE 2002 (article first published : 2002-08-16)

A Mardi Gras at Zoo Lake and a Pride Parade through Rosebank can be expected during Pride 2002, the Gay Pride Heritage Festival 2002 on September 28. Following the format of last year, this comprises a week of events including arts & culture, a film festival, sports and workshops organised by African Pride. Pride Communications, a commercial entity formed four years ago and consisting of members Gary Bath and Yusoof Abdullah, has stepped into the vacuum created by the official dissolution of the 2002 Pride Working Group.

"We have decided that there is no way Johannesburg will not see a Pride Parade this year. We already have a twelve-year history and we're not going to allow this to be jeopardised," said Yusoof Abdullah of Pride Communications. "From our previous experience of organising this event we know that our community is rapidly running out of time to get this event organised."

Pride Communications have made it clear that it is "high time to raise the standard of the Pride Parade and After Party":

"The route of the parade has become controversial over the last few years, and the community has expressed dissatisfaction with the lack of entertainment and facilities during last year's Pride celebrations. We are changing this," Abdullah said.

The strategy is to enhance and improve Corporate South Africa's position to the Gay and Lesbian market. Its involvement with Pride 2002 marks the first time a private company has been involved with the organisation of Pride. The company is already winding up the negotiations that were necessary to secure the various venues, to put contingency plans in place, and to obtain backing from Local Government for this major event.

As the parade is expected to involve at least 30 quality floats and some 18,000 people, Pride Communications is working closely with Parkview Police on a security and logistics plan that will include mounted police. They are also collaborating with City Parks and the ratepayers’ organisations to fall in line with City Park's requirements for Zoo Lake: "We will ensure that legal noise levels are maintained, that security will be tight and that the park will be left spotless afterwards."

Pride Communications has just launched the official Pride 2002 website at http://www.sapride.org/

More details from Gary Bath on 082 547-2486 or Yusoof Abdullah on 083 590-5096 or Pride Communications on 011 886-7833 or fax 011 886-7842 or e-mail: info@pridesa.co.za




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