The capital of Iceland, Reykjavik, is now in the middle of its annual Pride festival. To launch the event, a giant rainbow was painted on the pavement outside the City Hall.
The City Hall rainbow was created Tuesday. Among those to take part in the painting were the Reykjavik Pride board of directors and the city’s mayor, Dagur B. Eggertsson.
He later tweeted that the gesture helped make Reykjavik City Hall, ‘the most beautiful city hall of the world.’ Volunteers completed the task.
— Dagur B. Eggertsson (@Dagurb) August 8, 2017
Paintings rainbows on the street has become something of a Pride tradition in Europe’s most northern capital city. Funded by the city of Reykjavik, this is the third year a rainbow pavement has been created.
Previous rainbows have appeared on Skólavörðustígur, the street leading up to Hallgrímskirkja cathedral, and the steps leading up to well-known high school, Menntaskólinn í Reykjavík. This is the first time that City Hall has been used for the tradition.
‘For the past two years we’ve chosen iconic places to paint to the rainbow by. It’s such a strong and symbolic way to start the Reykjavik Pride week as Reykjavik literally puts its rainbow on,’ said Reykjavik Pride Chair, Eva María Þórarinsdóttir Lange.
Local resident Páll Guðjónsson told GSN, ‘It’s an amazing idea and and makes us very proud to see the surprised tourist all taking selfies with the rainbow and spreading the message all over the world.
‘People were very impressed when this was done for the first time and last year we had many copies last year when people and businesses painted smaller versions in front of their houses.’
Despite having a population of 320,000, the annual Pride festival is a huge event. LGBTI people are joined by straight allies, friends and family members, and the parade due to take place this Saturday is expected to attract between 80,000-100,000 participants. It is the 19th Reykjavik Pride.
The small country is known for being LGBTI friendly. It was the first country in the world to have an openly gay Prime Minister: Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, from 2009-2013.