Pride in city's LGBTQ+ pub event
- Credit: Karyn Haddon
St Albans' first annual Pub Pride event saw more than 30 pubs and businesses from across the area join in the fun.
Run by charity Ask for Clive, the event was put together to allow pubs to welcome the LGBTQ+ community and highlight their commitment to diversity. It became especially important in 2021 as many young people have never really been able to celebrate Pride or a night out with their community.
Participating venues were dressed in Pub Pride bunting and flags, and St Albans Museum shone Pride lights on the night.
They included the likes of Ye Olde Fighting Cocks, Dylans, Sucker Punch, Punchin Palooka, The Snug, The Beech House, The Craft and Cleaver, The Mermaid, The Peacock, The Lower Red Lion, The Horn, The Great Northern, The Victoria, The Hare and Hounds, Goat and The Mad Squirrel Tap.
Ask For Clive was founded in St Albans in 2019 to create welcome spaces and work with venues to combat discrimination.
Charity founder Danny Clare said: "We were overwhelmed with the response from pubs and visitors to Pub Pride on Friday. Our group of trustees visited every local pub and venue throughout the day. Each one had a great vibe to it and a feeling of celebration.
"The key thing is that none of these pubs are LGBTQ+ specific, so really help us deliver our mission of creating welcome spaces for the LGBTQ+ community.
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"I’m pleased to say that I didn’t have a drink in every one of the 22 I visited!
"Some venues supported further with their own fundraisers. Cakes from the Waddington Road Café, cocktails at Dylan’s, pizza at the Max Squirrel, a rainbow salad at Leafy. Great creativity and support, we loved it!
"Despite over 100 venues partaking nationally, St Albans was ground zero, and local support blew us away.
"We’ve been inundated with requests from venues and supporters since Friday, and also messages of thanks from the community, usually coupled with the question 'Are you doing it again next year?'
"The answer is an emphatic yes. Bigger, better, more notice and less restrictions.
"Special mention must also go to Sean Hughes of Dylan’s who has helped drive Pub Pride from the start, connecting us with some key venues and partners. We have just made an agreement with our first major pub chain, Punch Pubs; it looks like others are very soon to follow."