July 22, 2010

Festival: Gay Pride

ATTENTION: This is a blog entry for 2010, please click here for the blog entry regarding 2011.
The countdown has started... less than a week until the Stockholm Gay Pride, or just Stockholm Pride as it's called, starts (July 26th to August 1st). Every year the Pride festival gets larger and more popular actually causing organizers to move the venue this year to accomodate the large amount of visitors. This year the Pride Park is located in Gärdet, next to the Naval History Museum(Sjöhistoriska). Unlike gay pride celebrations in other cities and countries... Stockholm Pride isn't just one day or a weekend but a whole week, though most events take place Wednesday through Saturday. Lots of fun things are going on in the park... seminars, concerts with Swedish & international artists, dancing and performances. There are several shops, and restaurant & bar tents as well.
Picture by Yanan Li
As a tourist you might not notice that Pride is happening (as the main venues are on the outskirts of the city) besides seeing the occasional rainbow flag or hearing more ABBA songs than normal being played. However, on Saturday the 31st you will not be able to avoid it with the parade snaking through the city. Last year there were 35,000 people in the parade and almost half a million people lining the parade route. Many Stockholmers (of all persuasions) make a day out of it, bringing beach chairs and coolers and setting up hours before the parade actually starts. The parade starts at 1pm in the Tantolunden Park before heading through the Old Town and along Strandvägen to the Pride Park. My friends and I usually pack a picnic basket and park ourselves on Hornsgatan with hordes of other Stockholmers and cheer as the floats go by...
If you would like to partake in the festivities in the Park, tickets can bought either at the entrance or online. Tickets cost: 800 SEK for a week pass and day tickets cost 400 SEK except for Wednesday when it costs 300 SEK.
More information about all of the different events including program, artists, directions and history can be found on their website which I've linked at the top of the page.
Happy Pride!

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