Giant Puppet to Lead Totnes Pride Procession

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 10:15

Social enterprise Proud2Be have teamed up with ROC Creative to create a ten-foot tall puppet to lead this year’s Totnes Pride Procession on Saturday 3rd September 2016.

ROC Creative is a dedicated Art project which supports adults with learning disabilities express themselves through a variety of media. They have specialist practitioners running groups in art and design, drama, dance, photography and film, music and samba.

ROC Creative Learning Guide Support Worker, Debbie Perry said:
“We see Proud2Be as having a similar ethos to ours - to celebrate diversity, promote equality and be proud of all our contributions to the wider community.

Samba ROC have had the opportunity to lead the Proud2Be procession in Totnes for the last two years and have been overwhelmed by the warmth of feeling and enthusiasm of everyone who took part.  We wanted to be part of the event again but were keen to add something new. The idea to create a giant puppet came about after Mat and local puppet maker Paul came to look at our project and make plans for the next procession.  

We are very excited to be adding a new dynamic to our samba performance and for our art group members to be able to collaborate with Paul and his team of artists.”

Proud2Be co-founder Mat said: 
“We are very proud to be working alongside ROC Creative. Debbie and the whole team at ROC Creative have been extremely supportive of Proud2Be and generous with their time and expertise. We very much look forward to marching alongside them (and our new puppet friend) during this year’s procession.”

Proud2Be is laying on a whole host of events in Totnes, which will bring the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, intersex &/or asexual+ (LGBTQIA+) community together with their friends, families and supporters, to celebrate diversity in the town.

Activist Jacq Applebee will be returning as one of this year’s special guests alongside activists Helen Belcher, Holly Greenberry & Dawn Vago.

The day kicks off at 11am outside The Dartmouth Inn, where there will be opening speeches from Jacq, Helen and Totnes Mayor Eleanor Cohen, who together with award winning Samba ROC Band and the puppet, will then lead a procession up Fore Street and High Street to Totnes Civic Hall at 11.30am. 

Community bus service Bob the Bus, will be running a park and ride service from 10am at KEVICC and will also be transporting those with mobility issues up the procession at 11.15.

It is at the Civic Hall from midday, where visitors can enjoy, workshops and talks, a variety of community stands, Dot’s Cafe, a craft area, a family area, face painting and much more.

There will be a panel discussion at 1.30pm, where national and local activists will discuss how together we can challenge the divisions that exist within the LGBTQIA+ community.

The fun continues into the evening at Totnes Pride After Party from 7.00pm at Totnes Civic Hall, which will feature live music from popular Disco Funk band Golddust, P?nk and DJ sets from Madame Souza & Rhi Rhi Rhythm.

Due to a successful Big Lottery grant, for the first time, entry to the daytime events are free. Tickets to the After Party are £10.00 (18 and over only) and are available to purchase online (plus £1 booking fee), from Proud2Be events in August and at Totnes Pride day event.

Proud2Be Co-founder Jon said:
“We are so excited about this year’s Pride; we have been working hard to ensure that Totnes Pride is a community event we can all be proud of. We are thrilled with the support we have received from the local community. For us Totnes Pride is a chance for the whole community to come together and celebrate diversity in our town and to also raise awareness about the issues still faced by the LGBTQIA+ community, in the UK and around the world.”

To mark the event Totnes Town Council will once again, raise the rainbow flag over Totnes Civic Hall as a sign of solidarity and support for the LGBTQIA+ community. The flag raising ceremony will take place on Monday 29th August 2015 at 6.30pm and will be followed by Totnes’ first LGBTQIA+ History Walk led by local Writer, Historian and Publisher Bob Mann. 

Proud2Be are looking for volunteers to help. If you would like to get involved, then please email Julie & Dot at

Proud2Be are also encouraging local businesses and residents to show their support by displaying rainbow flags during the week of Pride. These are available to buy for £5 from Proud2Be.

To find out more about these exciting events or to buy a rainbow flag, please visit or email


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