There was a carnival atmosphere in Stornoway town centre on Saturday (October 6th) as the first Hebridean Pride parade passed with good humour and plenty of family participation.

Many of those who took part noted that the weather seemed to be in the right mood for what was described as the ‘maiden Pride event for the islands’, with a succession of sunshine and showers making for rainbows in the skies as well as on the streets.  

A large parade of colourfully-clad people left An Lanntair early, due to the growing number of participants threatening to spill off the pavements.

They had earlier heard a speech from the Duchess, also known as island-born Ewan James Armstrong. The Duchess said she was proud of her Hebridean roots, and that the pride event was ‘more than significant’ for the island community.

Participants spoke of the first Hebridean Pride as ‘monumental’, ‘fantastic’ and ‘all about the love’ as they made their way round the town and then back up Francis Street towards the Carlton Lounge where there were refreshments and stalls.

A social media post from An Lanntair said: “How amazing was that? Hebridean Pride in Stornoway, awesome turnout, great vibes, lucky us!”

There was support for the event from a number of town businesses, with shop-fronts decorated along the route and donations being collected in support of Penumbra, the Scottish mental health charity.

A small number of protestors offered leaflets and displayed placards carrying biblical verses as the parade passed the Town Hall, but there was no display of antagonism.

NHS Western Isles and the national organisation Stonewall were among the supporting organisations and there was entertainment for the many families and youngsters taking part.

Giant rainbow doughnuts by Bakers and Decorators and rainbow cupcakes were among the treats on offer in the afternoon while night club Era held an LGBT party night until the early hours of Sunday.