June 7 (UPI) — Tel Aviv, Israel, announced on Monday plans to stage its LGBTQ+ Pride parade this month, which will be its first in two years due to COVID-19.
The parade and festival are set for June 25, according to Tel Aviv’s Twitter page.
After weeks of uncertainty about whether the Pride March would return, city officials said this year’s event will be held on a smaller scale. Last year’s parade was canceled by COVID-19. More than 250,000 people attended the last parade in 2019.
This year’s parade will go from Bograshov Beach to Charles Clore Park, a shorter route than usual.
“Pride events in Tel Aviv-Jaffa are a long-standing tradition, centered on a message of equality, acceptance, and human and civil rights,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Huldai said the city is a “warm home for all communities” and is “proud to be a groundbreaking city in its approach to the LGBTQ community.”
“This year, more than ever, we will celebrate together, march together, and fight together for equality,” he added.
Etai Pinkas Arad, the Tel Aviv-Jaffa councilor in charge of LGBTQ affairs, said the parade is a “clear symbol” of the community’s “demand for a free and democratic country.”
“This year, the community will return to the streets in great numbers,” she said, according to the Post. “Next year, I look forward to being joined by our friends and partners from across the world.”
Tel Aviv describes the parade as “reaffirming Tel Aviv’s reputation as the gay capital of the Middle East and as one of the top destinations for gay culture.”