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Chipping Norton Pride 2023

#ChippyHasPride 1st July 2023 Chipping Norton Town Hall

Flying the Flag for Pride

We flew the Pride Flag high at 10 am on the 1st of July 2023 from the Community Gardens, with The Mayor and Deputy Mayor in attendance. We were delighted to have many people, young and old, with us as we raised the Pride Flag for the very first time in Chipping Norton.

The town came alive with colours, music, and a vibrant atmosphere on the day as together, we celebrated our first-ever Pride event. The community came together to show their support for inclusivity, diversity, and love in a joyous celebration of Pride in Chipping Norton.

The event saw a remarkable turnout with hundreds attending throughout the day, with various organisations and individuals joining in the festivities. People from all walks of life gathered to express their solidarity and pride in Chipping Norton. We are so proud of all the people helping to make the first Chippy Pride a resounding success! Check out the Pictures from Shot By Jude here! and read more about the day, and all the people supporting and attending below.

Rainbows all Around Town

Chippy Town got into the spirit of Pride by adorning streets, trees, and railings with flags and yarn. Holly May Crochet organized a Crochet for Pride workshop at Wychwood Library, where participants created beautiful crochet pieces that added a touch of rainbow-inspired art to the town. Additionally, the renowned Chippy Yarn Bomber came out of retirement specifically for Pride, adding colourful hearts to the railings of the Town Hall and Withers Court, creating wonderful displays of love and unity.  The Town Hall was adorned with bunting and flags, some of which was provided by our friends at Witney Pride and some more from Oxford Pride.  It really is a big Pride Family that we feel we have joined!

Thanks to the wonderful Chippy shops!

In the weeks leading up to Pride, numerous shops in Chipping Norton decorated their windows and shop fronts to show their support. Sue Ryder, Jaffe & Neale, Mr. Simms, The Fibreworks, Beehive, Gill and Co. Hardware, Hyde & Home, Whistlers, Wild at Heart, Blue Cross Shop, Sainsburys, The Mighty Pie Shop, The Coop, and Withers Court all adorned their spaces, creating a colourful and welcoming environment. 

A competition judged by the mayor took place and the Winners Certificate will be going to: Sue Ryder Shop.Three shops have received Highly Commended Certificates: Mr Simms, Jaffe & Neale and The Fibreworks

Withers Court – Great Organisations Sharing Help, Advice and Information.

Thanks to Roxy at the Coop for allowing Withers Court to be an additional space for the extra stalls who wanted to join us.  A collective of great organisations provided valuable assistance, advice, and information during the event. There were also lots of fabulous Pride freebies handed out and they were instrumental in fostering a sense of community and support throughout the celebration. Unison Oxon Health, Turning Point Banbury/Bicester, Inclusive Churches, Terence Higgins Trust, Oxford Pride, Witney CLP, Chippy Labour Party, and Adopt Thames Valley all played a vital role in promoting inclusivity and support.

Getting Creative on the Town Hall Steps

The Town Hall Steps were a hub of fun and creativity during the Pride Day. Activities included face painting by Chipping Norton Theatre, where children and adults alike could adorn themselves with vibrant colours and designs. Emma, from Ribberty Rabbit Creative facilitated the creation of a community artwork piece based on the theme of individual identity that will be proudly displayed in the Town Hall, representing the unity and creativity of the town for the enjoyment of future generations.

Emergency Services promoting Inclusivity and Diversity

There was a wonderful lively atmosphere around the Town Hall thanks to the attendance of the Chipping Norton Fire Service and a team from Thames Valley Police ensuring the safety and enjoyment of all attendees.  By their side and keeping them cool on the warm summer day was Sid’s Ice Cream Van enjoyed by many.  From children to grandparents, everyone was delighted to get to enjoy the Fire Brigade Rainbow Truck, and chat to our very fine Police people. It was a perfect opportunity for residents to engage with local emergency services and enjoy some delicious ice cream.

Oxford Pride and more Friends of Pride in the Upper Hall

The Upper Hall hosted a range of local businesses that actively supported the Pride event.  The Chippy Pride event has been massively supported by the team at Oxford Pride who are supporting many new Pride events across Oxfordshire, and it was great to have them join us.  With all the Rainbow goodies you could wish to own they also held a creative activity for kids.  Joining Oxford Pride in the Upper Hall were Azets Accountancy who are passionate about inclusivity and acceptance. 

Lyn Hemphill Books Store focusing on books for the LGBTQ community and Sophie Nicks with her unique and stylish alternative jewellery were big hits.  Got2B Youth Group also offered expert help and support to any young person with their youth leaders Julie and Madge.  Richie’s Cakes and Bakes and Oxbrew Rainbow Beer for Witney Pride were on sale in the Town Hall, with lots of attention for Richie’s rainbow cake.  All contributed brilliantly to the festivities, offering their services and products to enhance the event experience.

A Fabulous Pride Show

The stage in the Upper Hall was a focal point for performances by talented artists and groups.  With the Town Hall’s new disco lights and PA system in operation and help from new Councillor Alex Keyser in the role of Technical Manager, the Stage was the perfect setting for a truly fabulous Pride Show.  

Hostess Lady B, a dazzling Drag Queen, captivated the audience with her remarkable presence, a true Mistress of Ceremonies, with a wonderful finale to close the day. 

As the doors opened The Cotswold Jazz Project, featuring Will on piano and Luke on drums, delivered a mesmerizing jazz performance as attendees entered.  Eight voices of the Chipping Norton Choral Society came together as the Eight in a Bar Choir, filling the air with beautiful melodies and the Got2B Youth Group Band ‘Screams of Youth’ rocked the stage with their energetic music.  Always fun, with fantastic singalong tunes were the members of the Buttercross Ukulele Group (AKA BUGz) who added their unique charm to the afternoon.

Inspiring and Emotional

Several inspiring speeches were given during the event, reinforcing the message of Pride, inclusivity, and diversity. Mayor Sandra Coleman spoke passionately about Pride in Chipping Norton, emphasizing the town’s commitment to acceptance and equality. Deputy Mayor Steve Akers echoed these sentiments, stressing the importance of inclusivity and diversity for all throughout the world. Georgia Meadows, the Deputy Mayor of Witney, delivered a personal, strong, emotive, and powerful speech.  Our security volunteer Sharon Toroni shared her experience setting up Walsall Pride in 2009, serving as an inspiration for future endeavours.

Pride Pub for the Day

The Fox Hotel embraced the spirit of Pride by transforming into the Pride Pub for the day. Happily adorned in Rainbow Flags it became a central gathering place where attendees could grab a bite to eat and get a pint to bring over to Town Hall.  It was also a great place following the event for all the bands to grab a bite to eat and celebrate after their performances. Oxford Pride had a great time after the event in the pub. Thanks to Ben and his team for their exuberant talk and chat to the community prior to and post the event.

Chippy Has Pride: Extending Beyond a Single Day

Pride extends beyond a single day, encompassing a continuous movement for LGBTQ+ inclusivity and equality. It fosters community, support, and education, sparking dialogue and empowering individuals. While the celebrations are vibrant, Pride serves as a reminder of ongoing struggles and the need for change. It encourages activism, challenges norms, and promotes visibility and acceptance. Pride’s impact lasts far beyond the festivities, inspiring individuals to advocate for equality throughout the year. It is a catalyst for societal transformation, creating safe spaces and promoting a more inclusive world where diversity is celebrated, and all can live authentically.

Keeping Pride and Inclusivity in the thoughts of the Community with our Pride Competition

To keep the thoughts of inclusivity and equality in the minds of our community, we have a Post Pride Competition for you all to enjoy and participate in.  To express gratitude to the community for their support towards the town’s first Pride event, generous local businesses have made fantastic prizes available; Nicola from the Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe, Steve at Mark-Making and Little Wild things – all helping to keep the spirit of Pride alive throughout the year.

There are 2 great prizes up for grabs – an outdoor adventure for the family, or a relaxing night in with the family!

You will have the chance to win a Magnificent Pride Sweetie Hamper together with a £50 Jaffe & Neale Bookshop voucher, perfect for chilling with the kids. Or, will you be lucky enough to win the second prize, and get the chance to spend the day with your family on an outdoor session with Little Wild Things?

Updates about the competition launch can be found on the Town Council’s social media channels – Good Luck to everyone who enters.

We Are So Proud of You, Our Chippy Community

Pride in Chipping Norton was an overwhelming success, highlighting the town’s commitment to inclusivity, acceptance, and love. The event brought together residents, organisations, and businesses in a celebration that will be remembered for years to come. Chipping Norton people truly embraced their Pride, and the positive energy generated during this event will continue to resonate throughout the community

17 July 2023
Last Updated
12 October 2023
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