June 12, 2014, Updated June 11, 2014
A marcher at last year’s Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. Photo by Zuzana Janku/FLASH90
A marcher at last year’s Gay Pride Parade in Tel Aviv. Photo by Zuzana Janku/FLASH90

The 16th Annual Tel Aviv Gay Pride Parade on June 13 is gearing up to be the city’s biggest, most family-oriented and record-breaking event to date. Organizers say up to 130,000 people will take part in the colorful parade – among them some 30,000 tourists.

The municipality invested more than $600,000 in pride events this year.

“It’s one of these mega events that take place in the city. We’re proud to be a part of and facilitator of the LGBT community. We’re working day and night to make sure that the best events are taking place,” Tel Aviv international press director Mira Marcus said during an interview on ISRAEL21c’s new radio show on TLV1. (https://www.israel21c.org/travel/tourism-goes-pink-in-israel-audio/)

This year’s theme is equality. “It is part of the message to the community, which has marked a year of struggles and accomplishments, to continue their fight on the path to fully equal rights,” reads the municipal website.

The parade is the culmination of a week of rainbow activities throughout Tel Aviv. If you’ve taken part in years past, take note: the parade ends at a new more family-oriented location this year, the Charles Clore compound and adjacent beach.

While some stores and cafés along the old route have voiced ire that thousands of potential customers will now bypass their venues, the municipality says the new route is safer and more accessible for families, especially those pushing strollers. For the first time, the parade festivities will also include top children’s performers to entertain younger marchers.

Friday’s events start at 10am with a happening at Gan Meir Park. At noon, Mayor Ron Huldai will officially announce the start of the parade. Like elsewhere around the world, the pride parade in Tel Aviv is not only for the LGBT community. Israeli model/actress Moran Atias is hosting the parade and guest of honor Dana International will perform the official song, Children are Happiness.

Other Pride Week events included beach parties, nightlife parties, tours of the city, the TLVFest film festival, a festival of gay culture, and cycling tours.

The Tel Aviv municipality added an extra splash of color to Pride Week in the form of 480 LED lights that, every evening, turn City Hall into an enormous rainbow flag.

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

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