Pride celebrations have been in full swing in Berlin recently and the culmination of them will be the annual Christopher Street Day parade and festivities, taking place across the city this Saturday 28th July. The rainbow flags will be out and flying as this year is the parade’s 40th anniversary, with the motto of ‘My Body, My Identity, My Life’.
Berlin’s gay community will march through the city and join together in a celebration of diversity, with a huge street party at the Brandenburg Gate. Both the parade and the finale should be on your list of unmissable events, as the atmosphere cannot be described and the experience will stay in your memory long after the glitter has been swept away and last rainbow coloured balloon has burst.
The name for the event comes from an uprising in New York on June 27th 1969. Violent riots against police assaults were held in the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in Greenwich Village and are now seen to be one of the most significant moments in LGBT history. The riots were integral in creating a more liberated existence and greater freedoms for the LGBT community in the United States.
The political agenda of the event gained momentum and the gay pride events have been held throughout June all over the world for decades. In Berlin the first Christopher Street Day event was held in 1979, ten years after the original riots and annually more than half a million people join in the celebrations. There are numerous events in the lead up to the event but The Christopher Street Day Parade is the highlight of the calendar.
The parade will begin at midday almost in front of the hotel on the corner of Joachimstaler Strasse and Kurfürstendamm. It heads down Tautzienstrasse to Wittenbergplatz and then into the heart of Berlin’s gay community at Nollendorfplatz in Schöneberg. The next leg marches through Lützowplatz and on to the Victory column, turning right here to make their final march down Strasse des 17 Juni and finish at the Brandenburg Gate. Celebrations will begin at 2pm in Strasse des 17 Juni and the event is free.