The Reykjavík Gay Pride Parade was a huge a success attracting thousands of people to the heart of the city to celebrate the day with Iceland's gay community; in Reykjavík the parade is a family event with even Mayor Jón Gnarr actively participating in the fiesta.
The parade has always traveled down Laugavegur but this year organizers chose another route. The new route takes the parade from the BSÍ bus terminal down Sóleyjargata, Fríkirkjuvegur and Laekjargata street, to the main stage across the street from Arnarhóll hill on the corner of Hverfisgata and Laekjargata street.
“The new route is so much better. Last year I saw a three years old child touch the tires of my truck and it scared me to death. The Laugavegur is a beautiful street to pass through but I think the new route is better; it might even have attracted more people this year,“ Páll Óskar Hjálmtýsson, a musician and gay icon recently awarded the Humanitarian Award by Samtökin ´78 or the Icelandic National Queer Organization, told rúv.is.
The mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr dressed up as Ms. Reykjavík. He waved to bystanders and threw roses their way in between his joyful cheers; party member of the Best Party marched behind him, visir.is reports.
Mayor Jón Gnarr in his usual attire outside City Hall. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.
After the parade Páll Óskar entertained the audience among other entertainers.
The weather in the city was as good as it gets when the parade took place with 20°C and clear skies; still in the early hours of the evening adults and children enjoyed the delightful weather on Austurvöllur field across the street from the Althingi, Iceland‘s Parliament building. Cafés, bars and restaurants were packed with people and as Iceland Review discovered, the party was just beginning.
But it was not just the Gay Pride festivities that filled the center today. A group of Icelandic children challenged the Icelandic nation to participate in a Chess marathon taking place in the City Hall and hope to raise money for starving children in Somalia.
They urged all those who can, whether they play chess or not, to come to the City Hall and donate their time to the marathon. Several Icelandic celebrities accepted the challenge including Mayor Jón Gnarr, reporter Bogi Ágústsson, Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphédinsson, actor and singer Egill Ólafsson and singer Geir Ólafsson, ruv.is reports.
The marathon continues today in the City Hall as will the festivities of the Reykjavík Gay Pride.
Click here for a map of downtown Reykjavík.