02/08/2014 12:01 BST | Updated 04/08/2014 08:59 BST

#BrightonPride: Look At These Glorious Pictures Of People Celebrating Gay Pride

Thousands of people have stepped out in glorious fashion to celebrate one of the UK's biggest and brightest gay pride events as a day of festivities got underway.

The Brighton Pride parade received loud claps and cheers as it made its way from the seafront, through the city centre towards Preston Park, where the party will continue until 10pm.

This year's theme at the event, which about 160,000 people are expected to attend, is The World's a Disco to celebrate the dance, music and colour of the globe, a Pride spokesman said.

Costumes and floats highlighted not only the diversity of the world's dancefloors but the plight of those across the globe whose basic freedom to live is denied, he said.

Campaigning under the theme Freedom To Live, the parade included 78 placards representing those countries where homosexual acts are illegal.

The ticketed event in Preston Park will see a line-up of DJs, drag acts and dance, and will include performances by boyband Blue, Katy B and a disco finale from X Factor winner Sam Bailey.

The singer tweeted ahead of her performance yesterday: "Looking forward to performing tomorrow at Brighton pride #FreedomToLive #fishnchips #seaside :-)."

Sussex Police also joined the parade as well as flying the Pride flag outside of Brighton's main police station.

Chief Superintendent Nev Kemp, the city's divisional commander, said: "It's an honour to be a part of the biggest event in Brighton and Hove's calendar which celebrates our LGBT community and showcases our wonderful city.

"We have been working hard for months with the Pride organisers in order to make sure as many people as possible get to have an enjoyable and safe weekend. We will do what we can to help keep disruption to the local community to a minimum and ensure a visible presence by officers to reassure and keep people safe."

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: "This is my second year attending Pride in my role as PCC and I'm looking forward to joining colleagues and getting to meet some of the participants who help make it such a fun day.

"It's the biggest cultural event in the city's calendar which celebrates the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community and showcases the city.

"There will be thousands of people enjoying the carnival atmosphere and celebrating equality for everyone."

MP Caroline Lucas also received loud cheers as she made her way along the route on the Green Party float.

Ms Lucas, who represents the Brighton Pavilion constituency, tweeted a picture of herself with a Green Party supporter as she prepared to take part in the day's events, describing the parade as "wonderful".