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Pride Festival

4 August, 2007; 15:00 Leave a comment Go to comments

The entire last week was Pride Festival in Stockholm. This makes it the largest Pride festival in Scandinavia, and in some ways much larger than the one’s I’ve seen anywhere else. Most of the activity happened at a city park near Hornstull, where I lived in 2004, so I didn’t really see much of it for most of last week (I even forgot it was going on until Thursday or Friday).

But on Saturday, I really couldn’t miss it. …

That was the day of the parade, and it happens to go straight through my neighborhood. In fact, only two blocks from where I live, there is an excellent spot from which to watch a parade: along a bit of elevated roadway for local businesses, right next to the main thoroughfare that cuts through the rock a bit lower where the parade goes. So I figured I’d just mosey on over at about 2pm, when the parade should start way over in Humlegården, which is in another district entirely, so I should have enough time to find a spot and casually wait for the parade. Well it turned out I was either a half-hour too late, or 1 1/2 hours too early, because I was too late to get my own 2 feet of railing before it was full of other spectators, but yet it still took an hour and a half of waiting before the parade actually showed up.

OK, enough complaining. Here’s a shot of the street, Hornsgatan (the street (gata) that leads to Hornstull, make sense?):
(Don’t forget to click on the photos for a bigger version.) The crowds, once the parade actually arrived, were more than I ever imagined would show up in my neighborhood. The paper the next day said that nearly 50,000 people came for the parade and festival.

Moving on, here’s a shot across Hornsgatan from my perch:
These spectators are actually sitting along the front lawn of Maria Magdelena Kykan, the Church of Mary Magdalene. This is especially fitting to mention, because this year was the first where the Church of Sweden (the Lutheran Church) actually had official representatives that participated in the Pride Festival program. And in the political arena, Sweden’s new Prime Minister, Fredrik Reinfeldt, became the first sitting PM to visit the Pride Park festivities.

Not to be outdone, even capitalism was in on the game. Here you can see the free rainbow flags that were sponsored by Statoil, the state-owned oil company of Norway:
Well, I imagine you’ve heard enough about the spectators and the sponsorship of the Pride Festival, and you’ll be wanting to see the parade itself! OK, here you go, from the very beginning of the parade:
Here is a muslim group:
And Norwegians:
Most of the parade consisted of dump trucks blaring loud dance music and carrying loads of partying people, like this one:
And a few more shots:
It was very impressive, at least in the size of the crowds and the enthusiasm of the participants. But I do believe the Pride celebrations in Seattle and San Francisco show quite a bit more creativity. However, it could have just been that the theme this year, sport, didn’t lend itself very well to creativity in the parade. Many of the folks riding in the dump trucks wore sports team jerseys of some kind, but on a sunny day that just doesn’t stand out very much. Actually, it might have gotten more interesting as the parade when along, but I was tuckered out pretty quickly with all that waiting around, then dealing with massive crowds. But a fun parade it was, and I was mightily impressed.

Categories: festivals, Mariatorget
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  1. 22 August, 2007; 19:52 at 19:52
  2. 9 September, 2007; 18:15 at 18:15

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