The parade moved through the city centre starting at Senate Square at 1pm.
According to Pekka Kallio of the police, the actual attendance figure was at around 20,000. Helsinki Pride producer Senni Moilanen had expected that the number of attendees would rise due to the gender-neutral marriage bill that the Legal Affairs Committee scrapped on Wednesday.
“Now more than ever there is reason to march in the name of equality, to show the policy-makers that an enormous number of people stand behind these issues,” Moilanen said.
Organizations and peaceful congestion
In addition to individuals, various organizations also expressed their support for the causes of Helsinki Pride. Employee federations such as SAK, STTK and Akava and service union PAM made appearances, as did smaller interest groups.
The Green League and the Social Democratic Party have both entered themselves into the parade. The Left Alliance will be represented by their so-called “Left Bloc”, the National Coalition Party by their rainbow group Kasary, and the Centre Party by the Finnish Centre Youth and the Centre Party student union.
Police advise people in the city centre to use seaside roads to avoid traffic. The Helsinki Pride celebrations will continue on to Sinebrychoff park for an outdoor party.