EuroPride in Riga, Latvia was attended by 5,000 over the weekend – making it the first post-Soviet country to host the annual party.
The event was deemed a success despite a high volume of protestors, who were countered with a huge police presence.
Three arrests were made throughout the day for minor public disturbances of public order, according to the Global Times.
Eyewitnesses spoke of some protestors having to be restrained, while some set fire to a rainbow flag.
EuroPride was also attended by Stuart Milk, nephew of the late LGBTI activist Harvey Milk, and founder and president of the Harvey Milk Foundation.
‘It was very inspiring,’ he told us. ‘This is not only EuroPride but it’s also the Baltic Pride. I went to Baltic Pride two years ago [in Vilnius, Lithuania] which was the only other march, as last year in Tallinn, Estonia they didn’t have one. It’s almost night and day, the progress that’s been made.’
He added: ‘We at the foundation try to do the struggling and emerging [prides], and give support. I just did Verona Pride, which was the first one in 13 years.’
Speaking about his famous uncle, Milk added: ‘He understood he was going to be killed, and he was willing to take those bullets, because he had a dream of a day like today. It gave him the courage.’
Sharon Hudson-Dean, Chargé d’Affaires at the US Embassy in Riga also spoke to Gay Star News, enthusing: ‘We’ve been flying the rainbow flag at our embassy this week!’
She added: ”I really enjoyed it the march. I was appreciative of how well organized it was, and the reception on the street. It’s definitely a historic march for Riga. I was very impressed with the police ensuring safety.’
‘We worked closely with the [EuroPride] organization, and have given them some grants to do various projects. We brought visitors – we brought Steve Grant, who’s performing. We also helped to bring Stuart Milk.’
Steve Grand proved a bit hit with partygoers, marching in the parade with the US Embassy and performing twice on the Saturday, including at the official after party.
Next year’s EuroPride will take place in Amsterdam; the city previously hosted it in 1994.
Many marchers wore flowers in their hair to mark Summer Solstice, which occured on Sunday
World Pride in Madrid will take place from June 23 to July 2 2017
The march boasted 5000 people – Riga Pride is typically attended by 800
The event was heavily policed
Protestors show off an inspired line in t-shirts
A protestor and her dog, who we assume didn’t have a choice in the matter
But the haters couldn’t dampen the colourful mood of the marchers
Watch out Russia!
The parade threaded through the city and back to Vermanes Park
Sorry we didn’t get your heels in the shot!
American singer/songwriter Steve Grand shows off his impressive arms while marching and posing for a quick photo for us. Thanks Steve!
Thank you Riga for an amazing EuroPride 2015!