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Top 10 Best Pride Festivals

VO: Emily Brayton
Written by Briana Lawrence All around the world, pride parades are a celebration of love and acceptance among the LGBTQ community, and these are our picks for the ones you have to check out! MsMojo presents the Top 10 Pride Parades and Festivals! But which will take the top spot on our list? São Paulo Pride Festival, San Francisco, or New York City? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to yourbestfriend for suggesting this idea, and to see how MsMojo fans voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Best+Pride+Parades

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Get those rainbow flags ready. Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Pride Festivals.

For this list, we’re looking at events from all around the world celebrating the LGBTQ community, and attempting to narrow it down to the ten most spectacular.

#10: WorldPride

You know how various cities will make bids for large events like the Olympics or the Super Bowl? Imagine that, but with lots of colors and plenty of LGBTQ love. Serving as a title bestowed by InterPride -- an international organization made up of various producers of Pride events from around the world -- WorldPride takes place every couple of years in a designated city, and aims to be a giant festival of love and acceptance. So far, the event has taken place in Rome, Jerusalem, London, and Toronto, with Madrid, long-known for its Pride Parade, hosting in 2017 and New York in 2019.

#9: Antwerp Pride

Antwerp is known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in all of Europe, and so it should come as little surprise that their Pride festivities are a true sight to behold. Taking place for a few days in the middle of August, this celebration is one that’ll make you wanna move your feet – especially when “Wave” happens on Saturday. “Wave” is a free dance party for all that attend and is hosted at the Steenplein venue on the banks of the Scheldt River, because hey, if you’re gonna dance the night away, you might as well do it near a gorgeous river.

#8: Pride London

Known for being one of the longest running Pride events, Pride London’s parade also has the distinction of being the ONLY festival to shut down Oxford Street. In case you’re not familiar with Oxford Street, it’s Europe’s busiest shopping area and is said to have about half a million visitors on a DAILY basis. Pride London was also the birthplace of “Europride,” which is similar to “WorldPride,” only it travels to various European cities each year. Celebrations spread across two weeks, during which there are activities for everyone, including film screenings, art exhibits, live music, athletic competitions and more. Of course, it’s all topped off with the legendary parade.

#7: Amsterdam Gay Pride

Why limit your Pride celebration to the streets when can have it on the water? Amsterdam goes above and beyond by having their exuberant floats, well... float. The canal route stretches across roughly four miles of water, where onlookers can watch, cheer, and dance to the music as each float makes its way down the river. While this is the main attraction, Amsterdam’s Pride festivities last for about a week and comprise of a host of unique events such as concerts and outdoor film screenings. Some events even take place in the Red Light District. It is Amsterdam, after all.

#6: Tel Aviv Pride

There’s a lot for Tel Aviv to be proud of when it comes to Pride. As the first city in Israel to host a Pride event, their parade is the largest LGBTQ event in the Middle East, with more 200 thousand revelers attending each year. What starts as a parade in the beautiful Me’ir Park leads to a party in Charles Clore Park. Oh, did we mention this is a beachfront park by the Mediterranean Sea? While the parade is the biggest event to take part in, Tel Aviv has an entire week of LGBTQ themed activities that lead up to this rainbow extravaganza.

#5: Christopher Street Day

Held in honor of the Stonewall Riots that took place on New York’s Christopher Street, this annual event takes place in various European cities -- particularly in Germany and Switzerland. The most prominent city for CSD however is Berlin, as Berlin Pride has become one of the biggest LGBTQ events not just in Germany, but all of Europe. While the month-long series of festivities provides plenty of opportunities to party, CSD also involves many inspiring speeches, political gatherings, and protests. If you miss out on Berlin Pride, don’t worry, because Berlin is a city with a huge LGBTQ community, and queer events take place all year round.

#4: Pride Toronto

While this particular celebration has historically been a ten-day marathon of love and acceptance, 2017 marks the second year in a row that the Pride Toronto festivities have stretched through all of June under the banner of “Pride Month”. The programming includes several concerts, movie screenings, panels, a number of marches and, of course, a vibrant, showstopping parade on the last day. In 2016, Toronto’s parade made history when Canada’s newly elected Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, marched with everyone, making him the first Canadian Prime Minister to march in a Pride event.

#3: NYC Pride

For those of you who want to feel the powerful history of the LGBTQ communtity, NYC is an absolute must to visit. AAs the home of the Stonewall Riots, NYC is hailed as the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ movements, so much so that several Pride events around the world, including the aforementioned Christopher Street Day Berlin, host their celebrations to coincide with the anniversary of Stonewall. On top of having several events throughout the month, it all comes together for the parade on the last Sunday of June where participants march toward the iconic Stonewall Inn. No wonder it draws a crowd of about two million people.

#2: São Paulo Pride Festival

Welcome to São Paulo, Brazil, home of arguably the biggest Pride Festival in the world. On average, the festival is visited by over two million people, though in 2006, the event set a world record with three million attendees! Since its formation in 1999, the APOGLBT – “Associacao da Parada do Orgulho de Gays, Lésbicas, Bissexuais e Travestis e Transexuais” has worked to make this parade a huge success, earning strong support from the local, state and federal government. Many politicians attend and take part in the festivities to show support to the community, with some often even coming together to ride a float!

Before we get to our number one pick, let’s march along with these honorable mentions:

Chicago Pride Parade & Pride Weekend
Atlanta Pride
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras

#1: San Francisco Pride

Billed as the largest LGBTQ event in the U.S., no one does Pride quite like San Francisco. Then again, when your event is the birthplace of the iconic rainbow flag, you know it’s going to be one full of nonstop celebration. The Sunday morning parade features hundreds of LGBTQ friendly organizations that party down Market Street and take over the city’s Civic Center. While it may only be for a single weekend, that weekend draws an astonishing crowd of over a million open-minded individuals.

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