Sir Ian McKellen to lead Manchester Pride parade

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Legendary actor and star of The Lord of the Rings franchise, Sir Ian McKellen has been confirmed as the grand marshal for this year’s Manchester Pride parade.

The avid LGBT campaigner will lead this year’s event as it marks it’s 25th anniversary for fundraising. Mark Fletcher, the Pride chief executive said: “Sir Ian is a genuine inspiration for the global LGBT community.”

The theme for this year’s march is ‘Devotion’. Participants are invited and encouraged to celebrate what and who they are devoted to.

The role of the Burnley-born star as grand marshal will be to lead the parade through the streets of Manchester on Saturday 29th August.

The X-Men actor will have to negotiate a new route this year as the march will be setting off from Liverpool Road before going down Deansgate, turning up Peter Street, then leading on to Oxford Street, Portland Street and Princess Street. The parade will then take a final turn down Whitworth Street before ending outside Manchester’s Gay Village on Fairfield Street.

This year’s parade is expected to consist of around 2,500 people from in and around the Greater Manchester area.

McKellen and his Vicious co-star, Derek Jacobi also led the NYC Pride at the end of June. Watch their announcement for it below.

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