Birmingham's annual Gay Pride festival starts

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Police said they wanted party-goers to be safe

Up to 100,000 people are expected to descend on Birmingham for the city's annual Gay Pride Festival, organisers say.

The free two-day event is now one of the biggest in the UK and offers a big boost to the city's tourism trade. Last year, about 75,000 people went.

The 2008 Pride parade was cancelled due to a lack of funding.

Organiser Lawrence Barton said he hoped this year's event would be bigger than ever.

West Midlands Police said it hoped party-goers would stay safe while having a good time.

Insp Sam Ridding said: "As with any event we are issuing advice to revellers so that Pride is enjoyed by all those who join the celebrations.

"We are therefore asking people to be aware of their surroundings, personal belongings and valuables at all times.

"We want people to have a good time and stay safe. Our officers will be out patrolling the area and available to deal with any concerns."

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