Some 120,000 visitors on Saturday attended the Antwerp Pride Parade, described by the organisers and the police as the biggest parade of that nature ever held in the port city.
Sixty-five delegations took part in the event, which kicked off at 2.00 p.m. Participants gathered at the Sint-Jansplein from 12 noon, then went under police escort to the starting point near the Paardenmarkt. From there they went via the Hessenplein to the Oude Leeuwenrui, then southwards towards the quays.
This year’s delegations included Antwerp Police Zone, Opera Ballet Flanders, almost all political parties and a few companies. To help the visitors of the parade to cool down, Water-link provided water bars at four locations in the city, each with eight taps where everyone can fill a bottle.
The parade, which combined a positive message with protest, was part of Antwerp Pride, a festival for the LGBTQ community. Other events include the “Love United Festival” at the newly constructed Scheldt quays near the Ledeganckkaai.
The Love United Festival started at about 3 p.m., with different DJs playing on two stages. The party lasts until midnight and admission is free.
On Sunday the “Closing Festival” will take over the large festival site on the Scheldt quays.