More than 100,000 people gathered along Tel Aviv's seafront promenade June 25 to march in the largest Pride parade held worldwide since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, a press release announced.
The Jerusalem Post noted that Israel police thwarted a number of attempted LGBTQ+-phobic attacks against the event. Among those deterred was a Tel Aviv resident who was headed to the parade after he was found to be carrying a number of weapons, including a taser, nunchucks and steel chains, among other items.
The paradewidely recognized as one of the world's leading LGBTQ+ events and the largest event of its kind in the Middle Eastreturned in its mass-participant format courtesy of Israel's high vaccination rates and lifting of all restrictions on public and private gatherings.
Tens of thousands of people joined the parade at midday as it commenced at Tel Aviv's Gordon Beach, before continuing along the seafront promenade and culminating at Charles Clore Park, where a huge party overlooking Jaffa and the Mediterranean Sea hosted performances by leading artists on two main stages.
At the event, Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor Ron Huldai said, "I am delighted to be here and celebrate with you again! LGBTQ+ rights are not simply a matter for the gay community. They are a matter of democracy and humanity. I wish everyone a wonderful Pride Month. Let's always meet on such happy occasions!"
Pride festivities will continue throughout this final weekend of June, with tens of thousands of partygoers joining major after-parties, including one featuring internationally celebrated DJ and gay icon Offer Nissim.
This year, the slogan "A Community That Creates Change" has been at the center of the Pride Month events.