Tel Aviv’s Mayor Huldai: We will “arrive at a place where Israel is a sovereign and free country where all people are equal.”

Tel Aviv Pride 2018.

Tel Aviv Pride 2018. Photo Credit: Amir Cohen

Over 250,000 marchers participated in this year’s annual Pride Parade. Israel’s 20th annual main Gay Pride Parade, which takes place in Tel Aviv in June each year, started with a blast of explosive colors, representative of the multi-colored gay flag.

Cheery flags were placed along the route of the parade, which started at 12 pm at Tel Aviv’s central Ben Zion-Bugrashov streets, and several of the adjacent areas were closed to traffic.

Hundreds of volunteers, police officers and guards were present to secure the event and its participants.

The route, which continued west from Tel Aviv’s central area towards the beach front, ended at Charles Clore beachfront park, where a full-blown party is scheduled to take place in the evening hours.

Top Israeli performers, including Israel’s latest sensational Eurovision winner Netta Barzilai, are scheduled to entertain the partygoers. Also on the list of celebrity entertainers: Israeli ‘American Idol’ Judge Margalit Tzan’ani, MTV Europe Music Awards winner Noa Kirel and 14-year-old singer and children’s favorite Agam Buhbut.

The slogan for this year’s celebration was “Communities Make History” in dedication of past members of the gay community who have fought to pave the way for equality.

Tel Aviv hosted Israel’s first ever Pride Parade exactly 20 years ago. The annual event serves as one of Israel’s key tools used by the gay community to raise awareness in the fight for acceptance and equality.

This year’s event also marks the 10-year anniversary of the Gay Center in Tel Aviv that serves the LGBT community and the 30-year anniversary since the ban on consensual same-sex sexual acts was formally repealed by the Knesset.

 “This is the biggest pride parade the city of Tel Aviv has ever seen… I am proud to stand before you today,” Tel Aviv’s Mayor Ron Huldai said today, adding that he still remembered the parade’s early days and alluded to “how far we’ve come.” He also mentioned that there was still “a long ways to go,” stating: “We will walk together to break the walls of hatred, the walls that divide us and the walls of legislation, and arrive at a place where Israel is a sovereign and free country where all people are equal.”