THE historic city of Lancaster is to be painted pink for nine days in December - and it will be a case of eat your heart out San Francisco.

The local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender group is getting its act together to organise the first Lancaster PRIDE Festival.

And the event, to be held between December 2 and 11, promises to be a real colourful spectacle.

It will kick off with a grand opening at Lancaster Town Hall and other events being planned include films, performances, DJ dance events, awareness-raising workshops and information stalls.

They will be held at venues including the Gregson Centre, the Dukes Playhouse, Friends' Meeting House, St Martin's College, and at Lancaster University.

PRIDE organiser and youth worker Lenny St Jean says: "The LGBT community along with other minority communities has struggled for recognition over the years, and the time has now come for us in Lancaster to have our own special celebration.

"We want to let people know we're proud and active members of this community."

Adds PRIDE chairman Miriam Murtin: "The planning and organisation of this festival has brought together many different people from the LGBT community in our local area - and from beyond.

"We have already attracted funds and support from the council and other bodies but we are still looking for more help, as well as ideas that can realistically be incorporated into the festival, either this year or in the future."