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‘Rainbow party’ at Norfolk beauty spot will celebrate diversity

PUBLISHED: 08:38 25 January 2019 | UPDATED: 16:12 25 January 2019

Sing With Pride choir member Michelle Savage with her dog Frank at the Stody Lodge Gardens Big Gay Out in 2018. The event this year will be called the Stody Rainbow Garden Party. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Sing With Pride choir member Michelle Savage with her dog Frank at the Stody Lodge Gardens Big Gay Out in 2018. The event this year will be called the Stody Rainbow Garden Party. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

Archant

Thanks to the success of last year’s Big Gay Out at Stody Lodge Gardens, a second event is being planned in support of the rural LGBT+ community.

Rainbow cakes on sale in aid of Norwich Pride at the Big Gay Out in 2018. A similar event is planned for 2019. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLRainbow cakes on sale in aid of Norwich Pride at the Big Gay Out in 2018. A similar event is planned for 2019. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

The beauty spot, near Holt, will host the Stody Rainbow Garden Party on Saturday, May 25, celebrating diversity amid a springtime blaze of rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and camellias.

Richard Hulbert, the site’s head gardener, said: “As a gay man I am extremely proud to be sharing the extraordinary gardens at Stody Lodge in Norfolk with the wider LGBT+ community.

“Through the Stody Rainbow Garden party we want to challenge the stereotype of the LGBT+ community in a rural environment and positively promote diversity and inclusiveness. It is my hope that this event will encourage tolerance and other similar events across the UK. I was amazed at how successful the Stody Big Gay Out was and surprised at how supportive our local community were.”

Norwich Pride and King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Pride are helping to organise the event along with Stody’s owners, and will serve rainbow cakes and teas to visitors.

Sing with Pride choir pose for a photo at the Stody Lodge Gardens Big Gay Out last year. 
Photo: KAREN BETHELLSing with Pride choir pose for a photo at the Stody Lodge Gardens Big Gay Out last year. Photo: KAREN BETHELL

MORE: Diversity and equality celebrated at Big Gay Out event held at north Norfolk country estate

There will also be music and activities to get involved in.

Kate MacNicol, Stody Lodge Gardens’ owner, said: “Our rainbow-coloured gardens provide the perfect backdrop to a true celebration of the LGBT+ community. We were blown away by the feedback on last year’s event and couldn’t wait to start planning for next year.

“With a new name and additional partners on board there will be a huge amount of fun activities and surprises for you all to enjoy.”

Jo Rust of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Pride, said: “We heard about the brilliant event that took place at Stody Lodge Gardens last year and were delighted to be invited to join the team. We know how challenging it can be for someone identifying as LGBT+ who lives in the countryside. This is a fantastic initiative that has our full support.”

The family-friendly event open to all ages, entrance is £7 and children under 12 free.

Proceeds from cake sales will go towards this year’s pride parades in Norwich and King’s Lynn, and anyone interested in donating a cake can email jules@norwichpride.org.uk.

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