LOVE is in the air as Dorchester gears up for a bumper bank holiday weekend.
This year’s Love Parade is on Sunday and organisers say it is set to be bigger than ever before.
Launched in 2009, the celebration of love and acceptance has increased in size each year.
This year’s parade from the town pump in the county town will have a sci-fi theme and will culminate in music and comedy at Maumbury Rings and an afterparty at Cafe Jagos in Dorchester.
Britain’s number one Madonna tribute act will be performing and people are expected to line the streets of the county town to see Dorset’s largest gathering of storm troopers in the parade.
Professional Star Wars actors will walk in procession through the town in authentic costumes and with props.
The parade will see lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their supporters taking to the streets to celebrate diversity.
The county town Love Parade has become a traditional event on the Dorchester calendar for the August Bank Holiday weekend.
Organiser Chris Kendrick, the owner of Cafe Jagos, said: “We have the biggest gathering of stormtroopers turning up for the parade.
“We have two of Britain’s top drag acts – Miss Jason and Dave Lynn on stage – showgirls, zumba, free bouncy castle and workshops for the kids. This year we also have the market area parade “It all starts at 12.30pm from the town pump.”
Everyone is invited to watch and join in the celebrations.
There will be a chance for people to have their picture taken with the Star Wars characters.
Among the acts performing are Dave Lynn, Miss Jason, Southern Sinners, Vanilla Radio, Jilly Ann, Cassidy Connors, Amy Mayes, Hustle, Neil Coad and the Delicious Showgirls.
The afterparty starts at Cafe Jagos at 8pm.
The Love Parade is free and includes face painting and a bouncy castle.
Last year hundreds of people joined the gay pride event and there was a warm reception from crowds with people lining the South Street to clap and cheer the procession.
The stormtroopers will be raising money for the Smile with Siddy charity, a charity which is raising awareness, funding research and treatment of Neuroblastoma.
See smilewithsiddy.co.uk for more information. Search ‘Dorchester Love Parade’ on Facebook.
• Concert returns to Rings
DORCHESTER Town Council’s popular Bank Holiday weekend concert is set to return to Maumbury Rings on Monday.
The event is in its ninth year and organisers have lined up six top acts to play on the day, with the entertainment starting at 1.30pm and running on to 10pm.
Headline act the A Listers will be performing alongside Stompin’ Dave, Stress with Nina Garcia, Zoe Schwarz with Blue Commotion, the Mill Stream Jazz Band and Sylva.
Deputy town clerk Steve Newman encouraged people to come along and make a real day of the event at Maumbury Rings, which dates back to Neolithic times.
The town council concert will be the third event in as many days at Maumbury Rings over the Bank Holiday weekend.
• Feast of free entertainment for the young
A FEAST of entertainment is on offer as a free music and arts festival run by young people returns to Dorchester.
Maumbury Rings is set to host its sixth annual Anonymous Festival on Saturday from noon to 7pm, with gates opening at 11am.
The young organisers of the event from local youth forum Dorchester Youth Extra (DYE) have lined up a number of exciting acts for the event and are on the hunt for more musicians and bands to perform.
Fresh from organising a hugely popular open air cinema event in Dorchester’s Borough Gardens, the group is busy preparing for the Anoynmous Festival and is keen to showcase local talent.
There will be two stages at the event, one focusing on artist performing original music and an ‘Open Mic Cafe’ for original and cover music.
Not only is entry to the festival free but there are a whole range of activities for people to try free of charge, from slacklining to zorbing.
There will also be a bouncy castle, graffiti art and a craft workshop.