Over 250,000 people from around the world flocked to Tel Aviv on Friday to march in the 21st annual pride parade, the largest such event in the Middle East, according to municipal authorities.
Voted the world’s “Best Gay City” by GayCities.com and “The Most Gay-Friendly City in the World” by Wow Travel, Tel Aviv’s Pride Parade is widely recognized as one of the world’s leading LGBTQ events, attracting thousands of visitors from around the globe.
Events kicked off Friday at 10:00 am with parties, drag shows, and speeches delivered by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai and this year’s “International Pride Ambassador” Neil Patrick Harris, the American actor, writer, producer, magician, and singer.
The parade departed from Ben Zion Blv at around noon with revelers marching in the street alongside elaborate floats toward the Tel Aviv promenade. This was followed by the famous annual beach party at Charles Clore Park, which also included a performance by Israeli singer Netta Barzilai, the winner of the 2018 Eurovision song contest.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said the city was “proud to be home to a large and diverse LGBTQ population.”
“Tel Aviv, which has already been acknowledged as the world’s ‘most gay-friendly city’ and as a beacon for liberty, pluralism and tolerance is proud to be home to a large and diverse LGBTQ population,” Huldai said.
“The Tel Aviv Pride parade is not just a celebration, but an important declaration of support and an opportunity to promote equal rights for all. We will continue to support and celebrate our local LGBTQ culture and act as a welcoming destination for the international gay community,” he added.
Neil Patrick Harris said “Tel Aviv Pride has become an important symbol of LGBTQ visibility and acceptance on the world stage. We are excited to visit Israel for the first time and honored to be a part of this beautiful celebration.”
Pride celebrations continued throughout the weekend with massive after-parties and other events.
For the writer’s full photo essay on Tel Aviv’s 2019 Pride Parade, see below: