There is no doubt that one of the most targeted destination sites for international travelers is the city of London, the UK’s capital and most populated city. However in recent years, it has also become a favorite of the bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender communities as well primarily due to the Pride London Festival and the Pride London Parade. The event takes place annually, usually running from mid June until the first week in July. In 2010, it will run from June 18th through July 4th with the parade taking place on July 3rd.
This year’s parade route includes Oxford and Regent Streets and takes in the well-known landmark of Piccadilly, Trafalgar Square, and Whitehall. It is oftentimes referred to as the Pride Festival Fortnight. The event has grown in popularity so much over the past decades since its inception in 2004, that when the Summer Olympic Games are held in London in 2012, that the World Pride event will be held at the same time. Additionally, the Pride London Parade was triggered by the UK’s Gay Pride Rally which originated in 1972.
The event draws huge crowds every year and this past year (2009) witnessed the event’s largest crowd yet with over 1 million people in attendance which made it the UK’s largest outdoor event venue ever. The Pride London Festival Fortnight was launched the first time in 2006 when the city of London hosted EuroPride. When the attendance blossomed to what resulted in 2009, World Pride 2012’s foundation was set.
The events that take place during the event feature a number of different entertainment venues including comedy, debate, film, heritage, literature, talks, theatre, and walks. Individuals and organizations, whether part of the bisexual, gay, lesbian, and transgender community or not are always invited to attend the event. Every year since the beginning of the Pride London Parade, the event has steadily grown in attendance and record numbers are expected again this year (2010).
One of the more important aspects of the Pride London Festival and the Pride London Parade to be aware of is the fact that it is a registered charity event completely run by volunteers which also includes the event’s Board of Directors. London Pride’s primary mission is the production of a highly professional event and parade that travels through the central region of London as well as free entertainment and capped of with a rally that is politically based.
There are a number of well known patrons that support the events including renowned musician and songwriter Elton John. For more information on the upcoming events, you can always visit the Pride London website and see what is posted there. The theme for this year’s event is “Paint the Town Ruby Red” in order to celebrate the Gay Liberation Front’s 40th anniversary.
Photo of a moment in the Gay Pride Parade in London, UK, by |neatphoto|.