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Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year

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Stockholm Pride glides into seventeenth year
Stockholm Pride. Photo: Erik Mårtensson/TT
11:12 CEST+02:00
The largest pride festival in Scandinavia is back for the 17th year in a row. The week promises to be packed with activities - and a glamorous opening gala with Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst.

"The festival is bigger than ever," Stockholm Pride director Maria Paulsson told The Local. "We broke the record for ticket sales before we even opened the Pride Park."

This year's programme will feature Austrian singer Conchita Wurst, who made headlines as 'the bearded lady', as a guest of honour. Wurst will perform her winning song, Rise like a Phoenix, during the opening gala held Wednesday July 30th in Pride Park.  She will also sneak in a quick performance at Allsång på Skansen, the traditional summer sing-along, on Tuesday night.

Paulsson  said the highlights of the festival this year include the party leader debates on Friday and the opening gala with Ola Salo and Conchia Wurst.
 
"And the lesbian party with Moa Svan and Nour el Refai, and the closing party with Adam Pålsson as rainbow speaker for all those we have lost to AIDS."
 
The festival kicked off bright, bold and early on Sunday night as gays got in gear to celebrate with a pre-party at Berns,which began at midnight and continued late into the morning.

When the proud participants woke up on Monday, Kulturhuset began festivities by opening the Pride House, where seminars focusing on everyday LGBTQ life will be held throughout the week. Those interested in politics and LGBTQ-culture will also be able to attend and discuss different issues related to everyday life at the House.

Pride House also offers a plethora of films, art, music and workshops for all ages, including fairy tale readings for children. Word on the colourful streets has it that there will even be a queer-reading interpretation of Finnish-Swedish family favourite, Mumin troll.

Monday's activities also included the "world's first world match in dildo kubb", where participants used dildos to play the classic Swedish lawn-game kubb.


Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

For those aged 13-29, both Pride House and Pride Park have arranged an area called Pride Young, where the spunky youngsters have their own place to hang and harmonize with privacy and free entrance. The festival hopes to build strength and a feeling of safety for the young LGBTQ community. 

The convenience store 7-Eleven, at Humlegårdsgatan 11, will offer marriage ceremonies from Wednesday to Saturday - not only performed by a priest, but even by outspoken politician Mona Sahlin and Imam Ludovic Mohamed Zahed from South Africa.

Several drop-in ceremonies will take place around town, but hold on to your four white horses - this one needs to be booked in advanced. 

The fabulously famous Pride Parade will be held on Saturday, August 2nd. The starting point will be at Mariatorget on Södermalm at 1pm, and the pomp and circumstance will dance, march, and flash its way across Stockholm, finishing at Östermalms IP where Pride Park is located.

Tickets for both single days and the entire week are available, offering free entry to different events as well as museums. Visitors can also opt to volunteer with the festival for free entrance. 

See the Pride Programme here.

Isabela Vrba/The Local

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