Get ready for the Carnival Parade!

With just 10 days to go until Learning Disability Pride, we’re delighted with the amount of people who have already let us know they will be joining the Carnival Parade in Carrickfergus to kick off Learning Disability Pride in style!

It’s still not too late to register your interest by emailing learningdisabilitypride@gmail.com for all the information you need about taking part.

We thought we’d share with you some top tips and pointers so you know what to expect and to help you get excited for the day, starting with, of course – the parade!

Parade Participants

  1. Everyone is welcome! There are a lot of people taking part who have a learning disability, but also many who don’t, but want to show their support and appreciation by joining the parade in celebration of learning disability. We’re expecting a mixture of individuals, families, organisations and social clubs to take part on the day.
  2. The parade is starting at the football grounds near the health centre, leaving at 12pm, and will travel from there along Marine Highway to finish at the car park next to Carrickfergus Castle. We have included a photo of the route map at the bottom of this post! Our team will be in touch with details of where and when to meet to help get everyone organised for setting off. It’s not a very long walk, but we have some options available if you are unable to walk it but still want to take part – please let us know as soon as possible.
  3. Express yourself! You can wear whatever you want – maybe your club has it’s own colours, or you want to dress to impress with outfits and costumes – anything goes! – but be sure to wear something you feel comfortable in and shoes that are safe to walk in. Please feel welcome to bring a banner or flag that shows us who you are and what you’re proud of. They can be as easy or difficult to make as you wish, and can certainly be done on a small budget –  the most important thing is that it gives you the chance to really shout about what you’re proud of! Here’s some great ideas from other groups
  4. Safety comes first! Please make sure you have contact details for whoever is leading your group,  just incase you get separated on the day. If you have a mobile phone, make sure it is charged and has credit but also be sure to keep it safe like in a zipped pocket or bag. We will have a team of staff and volunteers on the day who can help you find someone if you do get separated, but having contact details handy will make this much easier. If you’re unsure about anything on the day, please speak to someone in a high visibility waistcoat!
  5. Have fun! This is an amazing opportunity to really let your hair down and enjoy yourself. We’ll be joined by some special people in the parade, such as May McFettridge, Superheroes from Loc-Down events, music, dancers and floats, but the real stars of the parade will be YOU! Remember to smile, wave and cheer as you make your way along the route, as there will be plenty of people out to watch the parade make its way to the Castle car park.
  6. Enjoy the rest of the day! There will be plenty to see and do in the car park between 1pm and 4pm – we’ll let you know the highlights in our next post, coming soon!

Parade Spectators

For anyone who is not taking part in the parade but would like to spectate, here’s a few things to keep in mind –

  • There will be road closures in Carrickfergus on the morning/early afternoon of Saturday 27th May. We will update our Facebook and Twitter pages when we have details of this, but please do get down early!
  • Use public transport if possible- there are train stops at both Downshire and Carrickfergus Town Centre which are both handy to the parade route, and will help you avoid delays caused by road closures.
  • For the best views, we recommend you stand along Marine Highway, between Taylors Avenue and the Castle.
  • Please encourage people taking part in the parade by smiling, waving and cheering them along their way!
  • Stay and join in the fun – there’s plenty of family friendly activities happening between 1pm and 4pm, and we’d love to see you there, so after watching the parade be sure to make your way along to the car park, you’ll be made very welcome.

We’re sure that’s lots of information to take in, but please feel free to send us an email (learningdisabilitypride@gmail.com) or message on Facebook/Twitter if you need more information, or would like to share with us a photo of your banner/flag/costume preparations for Learning Disability Pride!!

Check out the route –

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