More than a quarter of a million people from around the world gathered in Tel Aviv for the largest ever LGBT Pride parade in the Middle East.
Marking 20 years since the city’s first event, this year’s Pride featured Eurovision winner Netta Barlizai,, who performed her hit “Toy” on the main stage.
Celebrations are expected to continue throughout the weekend – with the Parade marking an end to a two-week-long festival, celebrating the city’s reputation as the the world’s “Best Gay City”, as voted by GayCities.com.
Tel Aviv-Yafo Mayor, Ron Huldai said the city, “which has already been acknowledged as the world’s “most gay-friendly city” and as a beacon for liberty, pluralism and tolerance very proud of the record number of tourists that took part in the pride events across the city this year.
“We will continue to support and celebrate our local LGBT culture and act as a welcoming destination for the International gay community.”
Watch drone footage of the march along Tel Aviv’s iconic coastline:
Earlier this week, the British Embassy in Israel unveiled the design for its float that took part in the Tel Aviv Pride event – which was attended by envoy David Quarrey, who is himself gay.
Quarrey said the theme was icons of British music, including Elton John, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie and Freddie Mercury, “who have helped bring generations together”.
He took to Twitter during the parade, to show off the colourful float, saying: “Thanks to everyone who marched with us or supported us today at Tel Aviv Pride – we had quite a crowd. And big thanks to my Embassy team for making it happen.”
— David Quarrey (@DavidQuarrey) June 8, 2018
The parade featured TV Host Andy Cohen, who was selected to act as this year’s “International Pride Ambassador”.
He said: “Celebrating Pride in Tel Aviv is a beautiful celebration of gay rights and visibility in a region where many of the neighbours cannot live as their true selves or be who they were born to be, which makes it all the more special for this massive coming together in support of equality to be taking place in Tel Aviv.”