Spring is here and so are the Pride Parades! Wouldn’t you like to hit up EVERY pride festival around the world? I sure would. Not only to increase awareness of the world’s ever-growing gay communities, but for the partay! This is a list, compiled by Hostelworld, of the greatest worldwide pride events. I’ve included some excerpts and pictures, but you can see the complete details here. I also linked the actual websites for the events listed below. You might want to check ’em out for fabulous pics and their different flavors.
1. Sao Paulo Pride 2010
VIII Gay Pride in São Paulo, Brazil, June 14, 2004
When? June 3rd – 7th
Founded in 1997, the Sao Paulo Gay Pride Parade is seen as the biggest event of its type in the world. In 2006 it was officially deemed the world’s largest by the Guinness Book of Records who estimated it was attended by 2.5 million people. Each year the festival has a different flavor, with the theme for 2010’s festival being ‘Vote against homophobia: Defend Citizenship!’ The main event is of course the parade which takes place on Sunday June 6th, but other events to look forward to include the LGBT Cultural Fair on June 5th and ‘Gay Day’ on June 9th. Here is a link to the parade’s website.
2. Dublin LGBTQ Pride Festival 2010
When? June 18th – 26th
Starting with the festival launch night on Friday June 18th and climaxing with the parade on Saturday 26th, Dublin’s LGBTQ Pride Festival aims to offer events for all tastes and age-groups. This year’s festival boasts Irish céilís, sports days, community street festivals, remembrance ceremonies…and then some! 2010’s festival will also have a dedicated set of arts and cultural events including the 1st Pride Film Shorts competition and more. Here is a link to the festival’s website.
3. Christopher Street Day, Berlin
BERLIN - JUNE 23: Participants of the Christopher Street Day (CSD) gay and lesbian pride parade celebrate on June 23, 2007 in the streets of Berlin, Germany. Organizers expect around 450,000 visitors for the parade. (Photo by Miguel Villagran/Getty Images)
When? June 19th
With approximately 500,000 people pouring on to the streets of Berlin for Christopher Street Day in 2009, the German capital’s annual LGBT festival is one of the biggest festivals of its type in Europe. This is thanks to the fact that not many rival it when it comes to acceptance of the LGBT community. And while it is undoubtedly the biggest LGBT event to take place in Berlin, if you can’t catch it you might be able to make the Lesbian and Gay City Festival which takes place on June 12th and 13th. Here‘s a link to CSD.
4. Pride London Festival Fortnight
When? June 19th – July 3rd
While many ‘Pride’ festivals around the world last merely a weekend, in London they do things in style as this annual event lasts a very healthy two weeks. The highlight of the festival is an outlandish parade on July 3rd when events also take place in the world famous Trafalgar Square and Soho. Prior to that over 100 events will be staged over the two weeks in various locations around the English capital. Here is a link to the festival’s website.
5. San Francisco Pride
Gay Pride Festival in San Francisco, June 26, 2005
When? June 26th and 27th
Said to be “one of the last remaining pride events that can truly be called a rite of passage”, San Francisco Pride 2010 is guaranteed to be a special one as it is the 40th anniversary of the event. The theme for this year’s event is “40 and Fabulous” and the event is mainly held in the Civic Center of downtown San Francisco. Here you’ll find over 200 parade contingents, 300 exhibitors, and 19 stages and venues, making it America’s largest LGBT gathering. Here‘s the SFP’s website.
6. PrideFest New York
When? June 27th
New York City’s Pridefest is its annual LGBT street fair and takes place on Hudson St. between Abingdon Sq. & West 14th St. It seeks to bring together local residents and families, community leaders, and area business owners to celebrate in the street. Additionally, the event attracts thousands of out-of-state and overseas visitors and volunteers. 2010’s event is the 18th annual PrideFest here in NYC. Website for Pridefest.
7. Amsterdam Gay Pride
When? August 5th to 8th
Of all gay pride events to take place around the world, the Dutch capital’s festival has to be one of the most fun of the lot. Street parties take place all weekend long, while there are countless themed club nights too. But the highlight is unquestionably the festival’s parade which, unlike in other cities, takes place on Amsterdam’s celebrated canals rather than on the streets. Link to the parade’s website.
8. Bangkok Pride Week
When? November (dates TBD)
The Thai capital’s Silom Soi district is the setting for most of the events of Bangkok Pride Week, one of the largest LGBT events to take place in Asia. Everything from art to film are showcased, while there are many sporting events held throughout the week. Other highlights include the ‘Pride in the Park’ which is held in Lumpini Park and the annual ‘Utopia Awards’ which honour gay and lesbian pioneers in South East Asia. Website for Pride Week here.
9. Cape Town Pride
Capetown Pride Parade 2009
When? February-March 2011
Launched annually with a totally fabulous cocktail party, South Africa’s premier LGBT festival was founded in 1994, coinciding with the implementation of the country’s pivotal ‘freedom of sexual orientation’ clause. Attracting thousands of visitors to the city every year, a host of events take place throughout the festival including fashion shows, sports events, film showcases and more. Website for CTP here.
10. Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras
When? February-March 2011
As it is the gay capital of the Southern Hemisphere, it will come as no surprise to learn that the largest LGBT festival to take place in that half of the world is in Sydney. Famous the world over, among the most popular events over the 19 days include ‘Fair Day’ which is held in Victoria Park (it attracted 70,000 people in 2010!), ‘Mardi Gras Dinner at the Zoo’ which is a unique evening of culinary and zoological exploration in Sydney’s famed Taronga Zoo, and the extremely famous parade which ends the event. Link to the parade here.