Brighton and Hove Pride gets under way

Brighton Pride 2012 Brighton Pride was delayed until September to avoid a clash with the Olympics

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Tens of thousands of visitors have gathered in Brighton and Hove for the city's 20th Pride festival.

A community interest company appointed by the city council in March is running the parade and ticketed festival.

The parade started at 11:00 BST from Madeira Drive and takes in King's Road, West Street and North Street before travelling up the A23 to Preston Park.

Sussex Police said 28,000 tickets had been sold with delays of up to two hours for entry to the park.

Jason Simons, 42, from London, who wore a pair of high heels and skimpy shorts, said: "Pride in Brighton always puts on a good show.

"Everyone gets into the spirit of it, and it has got something for everyone. I absolutely love it."

Alexandra Burke, the Freemasons and Fatboy Slim will headline the festival in the park.

The event was free until 2010, but Pride events were dogged by money problems and complaints about overcrowding and litter.

Trevor Edwards, the director of Pride Brighton and Hove, described the event as the "highlight in the city's cultural calendar for LGBT residents, friends and visitors alike".

One man was taken to hospital "after dancing out of a window", Sussex Police said.

'Rebuild bridges'

Drag entertainer Stephen Richards, who performs as Lola Lasagne, said this year's Brighton and Hove Pride was going back to its roots.

"Pride is a celebration of everything we have here," he said.

The festival is usually held in August but was delayed this year to avoid a clash with the London Olympics.

"Pride is a great showcase for the city and one of the biggest events in the calendar," said Sussex Police Chief Supt Graham Bartlett.

"It will be business as usual in the city centre, although we do expect some temporary disruption to traffic."

Police have warned that anyone holding unlicensed events, including on the beach, could face prosecution.

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