Auckland Pride Parade to see the return of TrueBliss

TrueBliss are looking forward to their appearance at the Pride Parade today. Photo / Doug Sherring
TrueBliss are looking forward to their appearance at the Pride Parade today. Photo / Doug Sherring

The weather couldn't be better and noughties pop stars TrueBliss are raring to go for the Auckland Pride Parade at 6pm today.

Up to 20,000 people are expected to be in Ponsonby Rd to see the gay parade, the highlight of the Auckland Pride Festival -- two weeks of events celebrating the city's rainbow community.

Parade producer Nick Davion said about 60 quirky and colourful floats had been created and the fine weather meant Aucklanders would surely flock to join in the festivities.

"We'd hope on a nice day like this 20,000 people potentially will come down to Ponsonby."

A talking point of this year's event is the re-forming of pop-girl group TrueBliss, who got together on the popular television show Popstars in 1999.

Mr Davion said the five entertainers were really looking forward to participating.

"We've spoken to the girls. They're over the moon. They're absolutely thrilled and excited," Mr Davion said. "Certainly there's a lot of excitement about the re-forming."

Not for the first time, queer and transgender prison abolitionist group No Pride in Prisons is holding a rally in protest at the parade.

Organisers said this followed the Auckland Pride Board's decision to allow members of the police and the Department of Corrections to march in uniform.

"We are holding a counter-rally to take a public stand against the Auckland Pride Board's decision to include violent, racist and transmisogynist institutions in its parade for the second year in a row," spokeswoman Emilie Rakete said.

"Given recent reports of racist police brutality and Corrections' announcement to extend its double-bunking policy, it is disgraceful that the Auckland Pride Board decided to include Corrections and police in the Pride Parade."

Mr Davion welcomed the dissenting voices.

"It's a feature of pride parades in the community and we absolutely understand that there are still people in the community who have got challenges to overcome and battles still to win, so it's perfectly understandable there are people out there with things they need to say."

Last year, three protesters from the group broke through barriers in front of a large contingent of police taking part in the parade. One suffered a suspected broken arm as security staff removed her.

From 3pm, the parade's floats will be lining up at Three Lamps, and organisers are inviting festival goers to enjoy associated activities from that time.

About 6pm, the parade will move from Three Lamps along Ponsonby Rd to Western Park, where it will end.

Ponsonby Rd is expected to be closed from 3pm until 9.30pm.

- NZ Herald

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