As many as 60,000 people take part in the Prague Pride Parade

Yesterday, the Rainbow Parade of Sexual Minority Pride traveled to the Letná plain in the Czech capital, Prague. The first attendees arrived around 2:15 p.m. and thousands more arrived within about an hour to watch the event.

The parade was accompanied by music, dancing, cheering and applause and many passers-by stopped to watch. Letná’s musical program lasted until the evening.

Police estimate that up to 60,000 people took part in the march. Their estimate of 30,000 people at the start of the event increased after more groups joined the parade at different points as it moved through the city.

Last night, Prague police spokesman Jan Rybanský told the Czech News Agency (ČTK) that the event passed without complications or incidents. “We did not register any disturbance of public order or other problems,” he said.

The parade traveled from Wenceslas Square to Old Town Square, where tourists photographed the participants. According to a ČTK reporter at the scene, an atmosphere of calm prevailed the entire time and protests against the event were minor.

Rainbow flags of all sizes were mainly used to adorn the parade, whether painted on people’s faces or as large flags that people wrapped around themselves. These flags were once used as a peace symbol, but during the 1970s they were seen as a gay and lesbian symbol which later became universal.

In the decades since, the rainbow flag has established itself as a generally known and accepted symbol of the LGBT movement. Many marchers in Prague yesterday wore garlands of flowers around their necks in the colors of the rainbow, as well as paper flowers or balloons, and some people came in costume.

The march was attended by people of different generations, including parents with their children. At Charles University Law School, which provided organizers with a balcony from which people could salute and watch the parade, other participants joined the march.

One participant, Sebastian, who comes from Prague, told ČTK it was his second participation. “What I like is the…community of these people. It’s because these people are fine, the vibe is relaxed. […] We’re all cool, we’re having fun, it’s okay,” he said.

Another participant, Eliška, also underlined the positive energy of the event. “It’s fighting for the right thing,” she stressed.

Refreshments were available in Letná for those who participated in the parade, with a program of music and other events on six stages both in the Letná Orchards and in the Letná Plain. Some of the bands performing were, for example, Girli, Tom Auspaul and We Are Domi.

The rainbow parade of people expressing their support and tolerance for sexual minorities and their right to self-determination was the culmination of a week-long festival of pride felt by lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer people (LGBT+), Pride of Prague. Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib was in the front row of the march with his wife.

This year the Rainbow Parade did not feature floats, according to organizers a decision was made to make the event sustainable. As they walked down Na Příkopě Street, participants encountered several men handing out Bible quotes and talking about the parade as a sin.

The marchers did not respond to those protesting against them. Yesterday was the first time the parade had taken place since 2019 after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Berta D. Wells