Prague's first-ever Gay Pride Parade and Festival of Tolerance scheduled for first half of August
During the first half of August, a five-day Festival of Tolerance, including a Gay Pride Parade, will take place in Prague. The festival and Prague Pride 2011 are being organized by Prague's gay and lesbian community, which has planned approximately 60 events, including concerts and the Pride Parade, for residents and visitors. The Prague festival has also been endorsed by 1980s pop star and British singer/songwriter Jimmy Somerville.
This first year of the festival will be modeled after the Queer Parades previously held in the city of Brno. Similar marches have historically been staged to protest against intolerance and to advocate for minority rights.
"Contemporary Pride Parades in Western countries tend to be organized primarily as celebrations, carnivals, and festivals, not only for LGBT people, but also for other members of the general public. It is in our interest to create the first festival (in the Czech Republic) with this underlying idea," the organizers state on their website.
The program includes more than 60 different events taking place from August 10 - 14 in over 30 locations throughout Prague. The events planned include sports activities, exhibitions, theater performances, movies, guided city tours, workshops for employers and human resource specialists on the topic of gender diversity, children's games, and dance and club parties.
The festival will culminate with a celebratory parade on Saturday, 13 August through the center of Prague and music on Střelecký Island, where the performers will include Jimmy Somerville, Charlie Straight, and American singer Tonya Graves of Monkey Business. Entry to the festival and carnival is free. Organizers expect about 1 500 people will participate in the parade.
The Czech Republic has so far seen smaller such events in the cities of Brno and Tábor, which ultra-right extremists tried disrupting. The organizers are worried about the possibility of ultra-right assaults on Prague Pride.
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