DORCHESTER’S Love Parade took to the streets in a celebration of gay pride.

Despite the rain, it was smiles and glitter galore as marchers walked through the county town this afternoon. 

The parade set off from Dorchester Town Pump at 12.30pm, down Weymouth Avenue, and onto Maumbury Rings for a full line up of live music and family entertainment.

Neil Code, a parade steward from Weymouth, said: “This is a big community which is a little bit off the beaten track, so the parade gives people from in and out of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community the chance to celebrate together.

“Hopefully it has a ripple effect and can help change attitudes through the loacal community.”

Now in its seventh year, the celebration is fast becoming a landmark event on Dorchester's social calendar.

Organiser Chris Kendrick said: “I started the parade because when I first moved to Dorchester there was no LGBT events at all.

“Since we began I think attitudes in the town have really changed, even the police have commented on that.”

Visitors to the historic site were treated to a diverse variety of entertainment from noon to 7pm.

Performances included, live comedy, the 'Killer Heels Showgirls', and a Cher tribute.

Spectator Marcus Dampier-Smith, 28, from Dorchester, said: “We always come down and support the parade. I think with recent events around the world, like the Orlando shootings, it’s even more important to support events like these and show unity.”

Through its growing following, the Love Parade aims to encourage young LGBT people to feel comfortable in their own skin.

Parade participant Jonai Da Silva, 53, from Dorchester, said: “I work in mental health and I see a lot of LGBT people who suffer from it. We need to get the message across that no matter what your colour, religion or gender everyone deserves love and dignity.

“We need to help vulnerable LGBT people, today is about giving them a confidence boost.”

Food stalls, a bouncy castle, face-painting, and craft activities were also on offer throughout the day.

Mayor of Dorchester Tim Harriers said: "I think it is brilliant. It is a good event for Dorchester and it’s really important to support the LGBT community.

"The Love Parade is a lot of fun but with a sensible message.”