‘Biggest ever’ Pride parade lights up Copenhagen
This year’s Copenhagen Pride parade was the largest in the city’s history.
An estimated 40,000 people, including Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, joined the 3.3-kilometre-long march as it made its way through the Danish capital.
Saturday’s (August 18) parade came just weeks after cabinet minister Tommy Ahlers – who has been the Minister of Science, Technology, Information and Higher Education since May – came out as bisexual.
Thomas Rasmussen, Copenhagen Pride’s head of communication, said the event – which involved around 180 different floats – would go down as “the longest and biggest parade ever.”
Between 25,000 and 30,000 people took part in the previous two years’ parades.
Landmark buildings throughout the city, like the Industriens Hus and Radisson Collection Hotel, were lit up in rainbow colours and decorated with Pride flags to mark the event, according to The Local.
Rasmussen said that in an unprecedented move, organisers were forced to reject late applications from groups wanting to take part in the parade with a float because of high demand.
“It is the first time this has happened. But that’s positive,” he said.
And he added that the soaring levels of interest in the parade may mean it has to grow next year.
“We will have to see whether we can make the starting area a little larger or the parade a bit longer,” said Rasmussen.
The parade was so successful that it somewhat overwhelmed the city’s resources.
Jesper Sørensen, the event’s head of parade issues, told TV2 Lorry that on Saturday, “the parade was so long that they had to send their cleaning workers home.
“The cleaners met at 06:00 in the morning [on Sunday] and started cleaning.
“We definitely need to look at the toilets next year,” he added.
“In co-operation with the police and municipality, we will evaluate how to make it better, because there is no doubt we want everyone to be happy, including those people who live along the route.”
But other than an apparent shortage of toilets, it seems that the parade went off without a hitch, with Copenhagen Police Deputy Police Inspector Riad Tolba saying: “People have behaved nicely.
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“It all went smoothly and according to plan. From where I’m sitting, I have not received any reports of injuries or other unfortunate events so far.”
Denmark has long been one of the most advanced countries in the world in terms of LGBT rights, but attacks still occur, like in May when Justice Minister Søren Pape Poulsen’s fiance Josue Medina Vazquez was violently confronted.
In June, Denmark’s Parliament gave its approval for same-sex marriage to become legal in the Faroe Islands, which is part of the Danish Kingdom.
The islands became the final Nordic country to legalise marriage equality.