Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Belfast on Saturday to celebrate the city's biggest-ever Pride parade. 

Organizers claim that it is the biggest Pride event to take place on the island of Ireland, with more than 250 groups taking part in Saturday's parade.

The theme of the parade was "Stand by Your Trans", with participation up 25% compared to 2022. 

The PSNI caused controversy several weeks ago when it announced that its officers could take part in the parade in civilian clothing, but not in uniform.

The police denied that the decision was related to the theme of this year's parade, instead stating that the decision was about maintaining impartiality. 

Some groups had criticized the PSNI for taking part in the parade, claiming that the police's participation was an endorsement of gay rights campaigns. 

Meanwhile, Ulster Rugby was excluded from the parade due to its decision to ban transgender women from playing female contact rugby. 

Speaking ahead of Saturday's parade, Kirsty Mulholland, co-chair of Belfast Pride, said the parade aims to support the LGBTQ+ in the fight against homophobia. 

"Pride is also an important opportunity to highlight the continued inequalities experienced by our community," Mulholland said in a statement. 

"At Belfast Pride, we seek to platform and amplify the voices of trans, non-binary, and gender-diverse people and to share the true stories of people and families around inclusion, healthcare, and human rights."  

Saturday's parade finished with a concert featuring local artists at Belfast's Custom House Square in addition to the annual Pride market, consisting of more than 40 organizations. 

At one moment, the parade stopped to cheer a bride and groom as they emerged from St. Anne's Cathedral. 

Great moment at @BelfastPride when the parade stopped to cheer a bride and groom as they came out of St Anne's Cathedral! #BelfastPride pic.twitter.com/rhB9xLW697

— Ricky Thompson (@RickyMournes) July 29, 2023

The event also included a Pride Village, offering children's entertainment, including face painting, treasure hunts, circus acts, and cosplayers. 

The Belfast Pride Festival 2023 began at City Hall on July 21 and is set to come to an end on Sunday. 

Great to attend #BelfastPride yesterday! #StandByYourTrans #Pride2023 pic.twitter.com/dLMzGVeGEX

— Ben Gilmore (@bengilmore03) July 30, 2023